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OF th: 

Bedfordshire Militia 

1759 TO 1884 

Sir John M. Burgoyne 

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From 1759 to 1884. 







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To the Third Battalion, 

Ths Bedfordshire Regiment. 

In 1882, certain old Books, Papers, Sec., were left to me 
by the late Colonel Sir Bichard Gilpin, Bart., with a 
request that I would look through them, and place in 
order those referring to the Bedfordshire Militia. I have 
gone further, and as far as I have been able, have 
sketched out the early history of the Begiment. 

I shall be amply repaid many weeks' work, if these 
'^Becords" meet with the approbation of my Brother 
Officers, past and present, and of the Battalion. 

Lieut.-Gol. Gomm. 8rd Batt. Bedf. Begt. 

Feb. 1884. 

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Although armed men of various designations had been 
formed in England from a remote period, it was not until 
1759 that the Militia was raised. 

It is very difficult to trace the early history of Militia 
regiments, as during the last century, and early part of the 
present, they wefe entirely under the Home Department^ 
and the lists of their Officers were kept distinct, and were 
not published in the Army List. 

Early in 1759, a Militia Act was passed by Parliament^ 
to raise regiments of Militia in England and Wales, and 
on the 5th June a Circular was sent round to the Lords- 


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Lieutenant of Counties, ordering all Militia regiments to 
be immediately recruited and prepared for service. 

Seven regiments of these only appear to have complied 
with this order, viz. the Devon, Dorset, Norfolk, Somer- 
set, Surrey, and Wiltshire, which regiments, by a return 
called for on the 28th July, were reported to be *' on duty," 
while twenty-four others were returned as " oflBcered and 
near completion." 

At this time the Duke of Bedford appears to have been 
Lord-Lieutenant both of Bedfordshire and Devonshire, 
as I found several official letters written by him respecting 
appointing officers to the Devonshire Militia. I, however 
found the original letter from the Duke of Bedford to the 
Secretary of State, which was probably the first official 
letter ever written respecting the Bedfordshire Militia. 

" Woburn Abbey, 

"September 8th, 1759. 
" Sir, 

"In obedience to His Majesty's commands, signified 
to me in your letter of the 5th June last, to use my utmost 
diligence and attention, to carry into execution the several 
Acts of Parliament made for the better ordering the Militia 
Force in that part of Great Britain called England, I have 
the pleasure to acquaint you that I have succeeded so far 
in this county, as to be able to send you the enclosed list 
of noblemen and gentlemen who are willing to accept the 
commissions set against their name, in the list I have the 

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honor to enclose you, and I desire the favor of you to lay 
it before His Majesty, for his royal approbation. 

" I am, with great respect, 
" Sir, 
" Your obe^dient humble servant, 

" Bedford. 

" P.S. — I think it necessary to inform you that Lord 
Viscount Torrington is by his own particular desire placed 
as ensign ; and as the Battalion is 400 strong, I think two 
Field Officers will be sufficient. 

" To the Right Hon. Mr. Secretary Pitt." 

A list of Noblemen and Gentlemen who offered themselves 
as Officers in the Militia of the County of Bedford. 

The Marquis of Tavistock — Colonel. 
Sir George Osborn, Bart. — Major. 

As Captains. 

The Right Hon. the Earl of Upper Ossory. 

Sir Philip Monoux, Bart. 

John Marshe Dickinson, Esq. 

Thomas Potter, Esq. 

Richard Orlebar, Esq. 

George Edwards, Esq. 

Ambrose Reddall, Esq. 

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As Lieutenants. 

John Franklin, Esq. 
Thomas Vaux, Esq. 
John Salusbury, Esq. 
Thomas Lee, Esq. 
Charles Field, Esq. 

As Ensigns. 

The Bight Hon. George Viscount Torrington. 

George Boheme, Esq. 

Joseph Franklin, Esq. 

John Hervey, Esq. 

Freeman^ Gentleman — Adjutant. 

(Signed) Bedford. 

Commissions were issued to these noblemen and gentle- 
men, and they were the first officers of the Bedfordshire 
Militia. At the same time several County gentlemen were 
appointed Deputy Lieutenants, to arrange and carry out 
the balloting of men to serve in the Militia. 

I found a curious old copy of a notice to the Dorset 
Militia, issued by their Colonel, June 23rd, 1759 : — 

" To the Militiamen of the County of Dorset. 

^^The law enacts that in case of actual invasion, of 
imminent national danger, or in case of rebellion, the 
Militia, or any part of it, may be drawn out as His 
Majesty shall judge necessary, and marched to any parts 

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of this kingdom. But none of the Militia are ever to be 
sent out of it, nor are they to be commanded by any other 
regimental officers than their own, qualified as the law 
directs ; and if any man ordered out leave families not of 
abilities to support themselves during their absence, such 
families are to be maintained, by order of any Justice of 
the Peace, at the expense of the county." 

The following letter of an officer of Militia would show 
that the Militiamen of 1759 commenced with the same 
spirit and good conduct which has been handed down to 
those now serving in the force. 

" July 8th, 1759. 

*' The business I am engaged in employs me continually. 
But the great spirit seen in every part of our Corps, and 
the cheerfulness of our private men, who observe the 
strictest discipline, make fatigue agreeable." 

In July of this year, for the first time, mention is made 
of Militia regiments marching through various towns. 
The London Chronicle of July 21st, 1759, says : — 

"Yesterday morning, six companies of the Norfolk 
Militia marched from Kingston in Surry to Cobham and 
Ripley, on their way to Portsmouth. They came into 
Kingston on Tuesday evening, and made a very good 
appearance ; they were commanded by Major Wilton. 
Their drummers and fifers were all little boys with fiir 
caps, and looked very pretty. Their uniform is red, faced 
with black. 

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" When they were drawn up on Tuesday evening, His 
Boyal Highness the Prince of Wales passed through 
Sangston, and rode through the front of them with his hat 
in his hand in the politest manner. After he had passed 
hy the whole, he sent the Marquis of Bute to Major Wilton 
with a bank-note for £50 to distribute among them to 
drink the King's health. Never were men in higher 

The Middlesex Militia were one of the regiments ordered 

to be raised at the same time as the Bedfordshire, and they 

appear to have had some difficulty in getting gentlemen to 

'come forward as officers, and the following lines appeared 

in the newspapers of the day : — ^ 

" An Epigram, 
'^ Addressed to the Gentlemen of Middlesex. 

** shame to the land ! 

Like cowards to stand 
When France threatens to tread on our heels. 

Though the male is your dress, 

Female hearts you possess — 
And may well be call'd The Middle-sex." 


The Bedfordshire Militia was embodied for service on 
the 4th March 1760. 

The early Army Lists do not give the dates of officers* 
commissions, nor at this time had Militia regiments 

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numbers; but they appear to have taken precedence ac- 
cording to the dates of the warrants under which they 
were formed. 

The Daily Register of the 25th June 1760 states : 
** A large camp is to be formed at Winchester, consisting 
of the 84th Kegiment, with the Berkshire, Gloucestershire, 
Dorsetshire, Wiltshire, and Bedfordshire regiments of 
Militia. The Earl of Effingham is to have the command 
of the camp ; the Earl of Shaftesbury Brigadier-General ; 
and Edward Montagu, Esq., of the Wiltshire Regiment, 
Major of Brigade. The Warwick and Hertfordshire are 
to be in the city, and are to do duty at the French prison, 
under the command of Lord Denbigh." 

The Bedfordshire Militia has kept a record of nearly every 
detail connected with it, and by it the regiment marched 
fiom Bedford on the 2nd June 1760 for the camp at 
Winchester, halting on the march at Newport Pagnell, 
Buckingham, Thame, Wallingford, Reading, Basingstoke, 
Alton, and Alresford, arriving at Winchester Camp on the 
18th June. The Regimental Record, which is more likelv 
to be correct than the newspaper, states that the regiments 
at the Camp were the 84th Foot, Dorset, Bedford, Berk- 
shire, Wiltshire and Buckingham Militias ; Col. Howard, 
84th Foot, commanding. 


At the time of the accession of George III. (1760), 
the Militia of England and Wales were raised by lot or 

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ballot of persons eligible, and whoever was drawn was 
compelled to serve in person or substitute for a given 

The commanding oflSicers were selected by the Lord 
Lieutenants of each county, and property qualifications 
were required : captains, ^200 a year in land ; and in all 
regiments there was a large mutual county feeling and 

The period of service was for three years. It may here 
be remarked that the same old law regarding the ballot- 
ing for the Militia is still retained to this day in the 
Statutes, but that it was suspended in 1864 by Lord John, 
afterwards Earl, Eussell, when the Militia were embodied 
during the Crimean war. 

The old county feeling and attachment was broken up 
on the 1st July 1881. It may be interesting, at all 
events, to those now serving, who know the good feeling 
and attachment of the men to their officers, to read a 
letter I by accident came across in an old newspaper 
dated 21st October 1760. I do not state it is the letter 
of a Bedfordshire militiaman, and I insert it to show that 
the same feeling that exists now existed 120 years ago. 

Letter of a Militiaman to his Father. 

'* Honored Father, 

" I AM sorry to hear by my cousin John, that 
you and Mother take it so much to heart, and are so 
angry at my having engaged as a volunteer with Captain 

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, in his company of Militia. I do not know, but I 

think I have done very well ; and I dare say you will say 
so too when you come to consider better of it. I am young, 
and have, praised be God, good health and the use of 
my limbs ; and now is the time, or never, to serve our 
country, which is the duty of every Englishman to do, 
and endeavour to keep out the French with Popery and 
slavery at their heels. I should not have disliked going 
among the regulars and fighting for my country in Germany 
and America, but I know my poor mother would have 
broke her heart if I had been sent there, so I refused 
noble oflPers from a captain that was our way lately. 

"But this Militia is quite a diflPerent sort of a story, 
for I dare say you are quite by this time convinced that 
all the silly stories that were told us at the Militia's first 
marching out were all nonsense, and the lies of the 
Jacobites, — that we should be draughted into the Eegulars 
and sent abroad. You see, no such thing has been 
thought of, or can be done ; but we shall all remain in 
the kingdom and under the command of our own ofiBcers, 
good gentlemen that we know and love. For my part, T 

go with Captain , as honest and worthy gentleman 

as lives — I have worked along with him — and who leaves 
a noble seat with all his fine gardens and estates to go, 
and why should not I? If peace is made, we shall soon 
come back again ; if not, I shall have a three years^ froliok 
at the King's expense, and see a little how the world goes 
on a little beyond the smoke of our own oven, and by 

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that time I shall be glad to settle; and if I get the good- 
will of my oflSioers, as I hope I shall, they will be friends, 
to me ever after ; and then, again, I shall not be liable to 
be balloted, nor be obliged to leave my wife and family 
when I am older and not fit to serve, or pay devilish dear 
for a sfubstitute, and can settle anywhere, where I will. 
I can live very well with my pay, and as for matter of 
danger there is little or none, unless the French should 
come hither, and then we should all be glad to fight and 
trim Monsieurs, as we should no doubt do, to their hearts* 
content. My captain has told me that he would give me 
a furlough as soon as I have learned the exercises, and 
when I will come and see you and mother. My duty to- 
her, and tell her I cut a good figure in my red coat, so 
that she will scarce know me. 

'* So no more at present from 

" Your loving Son till death. 

" P.S. — I am bound to thank you and my good mother 
for the care you have taken to give me schooling, for my 
captain says if I behave well, as I can write a good hand 
and cast accounts, he will make me a corporal, and then 
a sergeant, when our old one goes ofi*, and he cannot 
hold long, as he is quite an invalid from Chelsea." 

In November 1760, the regiment marched from Win- 
chester to Bedford, halting on the march at Alresford, 
Basingstoke, Beading, Maidenhead, Beaconsfield, Tring,. 
Dunstable, and Ampthill, arriving at the end of the^ 

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month at Bedford, where it remained until July 1761 ; 
when it marched to Sandy Heath Gamp (near Guildford)^ 
halting at Luton, St. Alban's, Hampstead, Kingston-on- 
Thames, Guildford, arriving at Sandy Heath Camp at 
the end of July ; the regiments at the camp being the 
84th and 72nd Foot, and the Bedford Militia. Colonel 
Cavendish, 34th Foot, commanding. 

In the end of November 1761 the regiment broke up 
its camp, sent its camp equipage into store, and marched 
from Sandy Heath, by Windsor, Beaconsfield, Tring, 
Dunstable, Bedford, Wellingborough, to Northampton^ 
where it remained a few weeks ; then marching by Newport 
Pagnell to Bedford, where it was disembodied at the close 
of the year 1761, having been on actual service one year 
and seven months. 

From 1761 to May 1768 the regiment was disembodied. 

A Militia Bill received the Eoyal Assent on the 24th 
March 1764, for the payment of the disembodied Militia 
from the 25th March 1762. The pay to be issued four 
months in advance. 

Adjutant — Six shillings a day. 

Each Sergeant — One shilling, with an addition of two 
shillings and sixpence per week to the Sergeant- 
Drummer — Sixpence a day, with the addition of six- 
pence a day to the drum-major. 

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Privates — Fivepence a day. 

For clothing (in the Act spelt cloathing) for each three 
years : sergeants, three pounds ten shillings ; drummers, 
two pounds ; and privates, one pound ten shillings. 

From 1762 to 1771 I can discover no papers relating to 
the Militia. The Gazette of the 20th January 1771 
appoints the Earl of Upper Ossory to be Lord-Lieutenant 
of Bedfordshire, and at the same date he was appointed 
Colonel of the Bedfordshire Militia. Lord Ossory had 
previously served in the regiment, having been appointed 
a captain at the first raising of the regiment, and served 
for several years. 

On the 24th October 1771 general orders were issued : — 

" The following regulations are to take place in the 

Militia the same as in the Regulars. Every battalion is 

to have a light company, with music, and an addition of a 

sergeant and two corporals to each." 


It would appear that there was some difiSculty in getting 
officers for the Militia at this time, by the following : — 

Lord Thomond to Lords of the Treasury. 
27th September 1772. (State Papers.) 
" Laying before His Majesty the request of two lieu- 
tenants in the Somersetshire Militia to be allowed to 
resign, is sorry he has no others to recommend to succeed 

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at present, as the spirit of entering the Militia Service 
abates in these parts." 

1772 to 1777. 

The regiment was disembodied, and I can find na 
papers or records referring to the Militia during this, 


In the spring of this year, owing to the American War^ 
the regiment was again embodied, for the second time, and 
on the 5th May marched for Southampton via Wobum.^ 
Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Beading, Basingstoke, and 
Winchester, arriving at Southampton on the 17th June> 
where it was quartered till July 1779. 

A very curious old letter, no doubt in the handwriting 
of one of the OflBcers of that time, is still in existence in 
the orderly-room of the battalion at Bedford, as follows : — 

" Southampton, July 27th, 1778. 

** Wednesday last a man of the Bedfordshire Militia^ 
which are quartered in this town, appeared on parade in a 
dirty manner, and his hair undrest. 

" Colonel Stuart ordered him to the guard-house, and 
next day a yellow jacket and cap were put on him, with 
the word ** dirty '^ before and behind ; and a great clog: 
was also put on his leg, and he was made to stand in the 
public street till noon, when, the regiment being drawn out^ 
it was reported he was to march through the town in that 

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This kind of discipline, being quite new, greatly exaspe- 
rated the mob, who could not be restrained from abusing 
the colonel and other officers in very unbecoming language. 
The fellow was then ordered away, and at the roll-call in 
the evening a vast mob was collected^ and began their 
abuse with greater violence, so that the peace officers were 
obliged to be called, and some of the ringleaders were 
taken into custody, one of whom was committed to Bride- 

It was observed that the women took a very active part 
in this mob. 


At the end of July 1779, the regiment marched from 
Southampton to Winchester, where it was quartered until 
the following November. 

The old record states that " at Winchester were up- 
wards of 7,000 prisoners of war, French, Spanish, and 
Dutch. While doing duty at this place, Eobert Flem- 
ing, a private of the Bedford Militia, shot a French 
prisoner dead for attempting to go beyond his limited 

In November the regiment marched from Winchester to 
Taunton, by Stockbridge, Salisbury, Hendon, Bruton, and 
Somerton, arriving in December, where they remained until 
May 1780. 

The number borne by the regiment at this time 
was 21. 

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At this time the strength of iDfantry regiments was : — 
For foreign*service . . 804 rank and file. 
In Great Britain . . . 670 „ 

On the Irish Establishment . 474 . „ 

In May (the date is missing) 1780 the Bedfordshire 
Militia marched out of their quarters at Taunton, by Wel- 
lington, CoUumpton, Exeter, and Moreton Hampstead, to 
Tavistock, where they remained until the 15th June, when 
they went into camp at Buckland Down, and remained 
there until the 31st October 1780 ; the regiments stationed 
in this encampment being the Somerset, Bedford, Corn- 
wall, and Devon regiments of Militia ; Major-Gen. Grey 

About the 20th October (the record says), at 9 o'clock 
at night, a strong hurricane blew from the west, attended 
with thunder, lightning, and heavy rain, which continued 
with great violence for several hours, and did much 
damage in the above-mentioned camp by rending in pieces 
the officers marquees, and tearing great numbers of the 
men's tents. 

The officers went to lodgings, and many men to stables, 
huts, &c. ; and a great number slept in Lord Ossory's 
marquee, being the only one left standing in the regi- 

On the 81st October the camp at Buckland Down was 
broken up, and the regiments composing it went into 

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winter quarters, the Bedfordshire being ordered to return 
to their native county. They appear to have left the camp 
on the 31st October, and to have marched by Tavistock, 
Oakhampton, Crediton, Exeter, Honiton, Crewkeme, Sher- 
borne, Shaftesbury, Salisbury, Luggershall, Hungerford, 
Wantage, Oxford, Bicester, Buckingham, and Newport 
Pagnell to Bedford, where they were stationed until June 


In June of this year the regiment was again upon the 
move, and proceeded by Hitchin, Hatfield, Barnet, Green- 
wich, &c , Chatham, &c., to Cox Heath Camp, where it was 
stationed until the beginning of November. The regiments 
at tills camp being the Park of Royal Artillery, Rutland 
Militia, 59th Foot, Brecknock, Bedford, Cheshire, Royal 
Anglesea, South Hants, and Monmouth Militias ; Lieu- 
tenant- General Gage and Major-General Morris com- 
manding. On the breaking up of this camp in November 
the regiment moved to Northampton, marching by Chatham, 
Greenwich, Barnet, St. Alban's, Dunstable, Newport Pag- 
nell, to Northampton, with detachments at Wellingborough 
and Kettering, where it remained until the month of April 


In April 1782 it returned to Bedford, marching by 
Woburn, remaining in its county town until June, when it 
marched by Hitchin, Stevenage, Waltham Cross, Epping, 

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and Chelmsford, to a camp at Danbury in Essex, the 
regiments stationed there being the East Kent, Bedford^ 
and West Suffolk Militia, ander the command of Major* 
General St. John.' 

1782, 1783. 

It remained at this camp until the 4th November, when 
it returned to Bedford by the same route, and was quartered 
there until the 14th March of the following year, when it 
was disembodied, having been on actual service for nearly 
five years. 

1783 to 1793. 

From 1783 to 1793 the Militia regiments throughout the 
kingdom appear to have been disembodied, and I can find 
no Militia records during that period. 


On the 4th February 1793 the Bedfordshire Militia was 
again embodied for the third time for service, under the 
command of Colonel The Earl of Upper Ossory, and early 
in March received orders to proceed to a large camp that 
was about to be formed at Harwich. The regiment marched 
by Hitchin, Hertford, Waltham Cross, to Brentwood, where 
it was halted and stationed, with companies detached at 
Epping, Ongar, and Ingatestone, &c., remaining in these 
quarters until June, when it marched to Sudbury, by 
Chelmsford and Eelvedon, where it was again halted. At 
the end of July it left Sudbury and marched, by Manning- 
tree, to the camp at Harwich, where it remained until the 


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middle of October. The regiments in this camp were the 
West Kent, Bedford, and West Suffolk Militia, under 
the command of Major- General Torryen. 

1793, 1794. 

At the latter end of October 1793 the Bedfordshire 
moved into barracks in the town of Harwich, leaving 
detachments at Languard Fort, Mistley, and Manningtree, 
and remained in these quarters until June 1794, when they 
marched again to a camp at Harwich. The regiments com- 
posing this second camp were the North Lincoln and 
Bedford Militias, the senior field-oflScer commanding the 


This camp was broken up on the 6th November, and the 
Bedfordshire marched via Manningtree, Ipswich, Wickham 
Market, and Saxmundham to Beccles, where it remained in 
winter quarters until the following April, when it moved, 
marching by Bungay, Holsworth, Framlingham, and Sax- 
mundham to Yarmouth and Aldborough, where it was 
stationed until June. 

In 1795, there appears to have been some little friction 
between the Home Office authorities and those of the War 
Office with regard to the Militia, and a strong expression of 
ieeling against too great an amalgamation of the Militia 
with the Begular forces taking place. On the 6th March 
1795 in moving a new Bill with reference to the Militia in 
the House of Commons, Mr, Wyndham stated: "The 

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original establishment of the Militia had been long con- 
sidered as a counterpoise to the power vested in the Crown, 
through the command and management of the army. 
Those who ventured to give vent to their thoughts upon 
this subject explicitly, boldly termed the Regular forces the 
army of the Crown, and the Militia the army of the people. 
They were at the same time of opinion that this latter body 
of men should remain perpetually distinct from the former, 
and that all the regulations respecting them should be so 
framed as to allow no ministerial influence to alter them ; 
and, above all, that the officers belonging to this body should 
be placed on a different footing, essentially different from 
that of the officers of the army in point of subordination, 
advancement, and pay. Little alteration had taken place 
in the arrangements relating to the Militia from the date of 
its primitive institution, till the dangers resulting from the 
present war induced men in power to prepare for those 
emergencies they might occasion. Among the means of 
resistance to a foreign enemy none appeared more eligible 
than to augment the Militia, improve its discipline, and 
assimilate it as much as possible to the army." 

With this view Mr. Wyndham moved for a Committee to 
prepare an estimate to increase the allowances of Militia 
subalterns, in order to retain the services of expert sub- 
alterns, an object not to be attained without adequate 

Although this speech in the House of Commons may be 
considered foreign to the records of the Bedfordshire 

2 * 

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Militia, I have inserted it to show that in days past those 
who appreciated the value of the Militia understood its 
position as the constitutional force of the country. 

The Regimental Order Book contains the following letter 
with reference to the canteen, during the time the regiment 
was stationed at Yarmouth : — 

" Barrack Office, 
" Sir, " 15th November 1797. 

" I am directed by the Barrackmaster-General to 
send you a statement of the quantity of beer furnished 
to the Bedfordshire Militia at Yarmouth, under your com- 
mand, during the period therein stated, which does not 
correspond with the General Eetum of the regiment, and 
also an account of money received by persons in the 
regiment as a perquisite; which practice, being highly 
injurious to the service, requires an effective check. The 
Barrackmaster-General, therefore, trusts you will take such 
steps as will effectually put a stop thereto in future. 

" The Barrackmaster, who was guilty of misconduct on 
this occasion, has been dismissed the service. 

" I have the honour to be, . 

" Your most obedient Servant, 

" 0. Barbeni, 
" Assistant Barrackmaster-General 

"The Officer Commanding 

" Bedfordshire MiUtia." 

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'* Bedfordshire Regiment of Militia. 

" Short issue of beer as stated by Mr. Patterson, brewer, 
at Yarmouth, between 23rd April 1795 and 13th May 

following : — 

Barrels. GaUoiu. 
"Amount of General Eetums certi- 
fied by Commanding Officer .61 24 
" Beer delivered . . . .59 

" Difference . . .2 24 

^' For which Sergeant Freeman received of Mr. Patter- 
son dgl Is." 

On the 25th June of this year Lieut.-Oolonel Moore 
was promoted to the Colonelcy of the regiment, vice the 
Earl of Ossory, and Major Payne to be Lieut.-Colonel. 

In the early days of the Militia they do not appear to 
have had any regimental numbers, but to have taken pre- 
cedence amongst themselves according to the date of the 
warrant under which they were raised ; but in 1793 the 
system was adopted of numbers being drawn by the Lords- 
Lieutenant for the Militia of their respective counties, and 
the Militia List of 1794 gives, for the first time, the 
Bedfordshire Militia, No. 42. 

In June of this year the Bedfordshire was again on the 
march, being ordered to a camp at Warley in Essex, and 
marched via Beccles, Holsworth, Woodbridge, Ipswich, 
Colchester, Kelvedon, Chelmsford, and Brentwood. 

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The regiments composing this camp were, a Park of 
Eoyal Artillery, the 14th and 33rd Foot, the Nottingham, 
Bedford, West Kent, Hertford, Norfolk, and West Suffolk 
Militia, under the command of Lieut.-General Comwallis. 

The regiment, however, remained at this camp for only 
one month, as it moved to the camp at Danhury in July, 
composed of the East Kent, Bedford, and Wiltshire 
Militia regiments, under the command of Major-General 
Morshead. Lieutenant-General Meadows commanded the 
whole of the troops in the district. 

The regiment remained at this camp until November, 
when it was ordered to march via Ingatestone, Gravesend, 
and Chatham, to Maidstone, crossing the Thames in boats 
near Tilbury Fort ; and it remained in that town, in winter 
quarters, until the month of February following. 


At the commencement of this year England was in a 
most disturbed state, and was threatened with a French 
invasion, as well as having a serious rebellion in Ireland. 

Most of the regular troops were abroad, and the home 
garrisons were almost entirely composed of Fencibles, 
Yeomanry, and Militia regiments, which latter were still 
further reinforced by what was termed ** Supplementary 
Militiamen." However, to return to our own regiment, 
which left Maidstone on the 13th February 1796 by march 
via Ashford and Hythe to Folkestone and the forts at 
Dungeness, arriving in their new quarters on the 15th 

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February. In July of the same year they moved to a 
camp at Brighton, via Bye and Battle, marching into 
camp on the 18th July. The regiments composing the camp 
were the West Kent, East York, Bedford, and West Essex 
Militia; Major- General Jones, commanding. 

In November the regiment went into winter quarters, 
moving to Shoreham, with detachments at Southwich, 
Worthing, Cuckfield, and Littlehampton. It, however, 
did not remain long in these quarters, for it moved into 
the new barracks that had been built at Horsham on the 
24th December 1796. The first regiments ever occupying 
these barracks were the Derby, Bedford, and West Essex 


During the years 1797-98 we are enabled to look back 
to the most minute details connected with the regiment, as 
an old Order Book of those years has been preserved, 
and will no doubt be long cherished by the officers, in 
addition to the records which have been kept in such a 
marvellous manner during the long history of the old 
regiment. This old book belonged to Lieut.-Colonel 
Gilpin, father of Colonel Sir Richard Gilpin, Bart.; 
and shortly before the death of the latter he gave it 
to me, with some other old papers, &c., more or less 
connected with the regiment, with a request that I would 
put them into order and add them to our records. 

It is in consequence of this request that I have under- 

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taken this reoord of the services of the regiment ; and I 
hope, in complying with the wishes of our old Colonel, 
whom everyone of us loved and respected so much, that I 
«hall contribute to keep up the interest of the County 
towards the "Third Bedfordshire," and that those who 
succeed us in the Battalion may maintain the good name 
we have always home, and hand down our records in the 
same careful manner as we have received them. 

On the 21st May 1797 we find the Bedfordshire Militia 
marched from Horsham, arriving at Eastbourne on the 
1st June, where they were stationed until November. 

The regiment at this time was composed of eight com- 
panies, viz. r — 

The Colonel's company. 
„ Lieuts-Oolonel's company. 
„ Major's (Grenadiers) company. 
Capt. Monoux's (Light Infantry). 
„ Moore's „ 

„ Garstin's „ 

„ Docwra's „ 

„ Orlebars „ 

The troops at Eastbourne were under the command of 
Major-General Forbes, and General Sir Charles Grey com- 
manded the Southern District. 

The changes of uniform of officers appear to have been 
as frequent in old days as in our own time, as in September 
1797, a general order was issued by Field Marshal H.B.H. 
the Duke of York, " that the following description of 

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Feathers are to be worn in the Hats of the Infantry Corps 
in his Service, (viz.J that of the Battalion Officers and Men 
is to be Bed and White (Bed at the bottom) like that of the 
Cavalry ; that to be worn by the Grenadier Officers and 
Men is to be plain White, and that of the Light Infantry 
is to be Green. When Officers wear their Regimental 
Uniforms looped close or buttoned all the way down to the 
Waist, their sashes are to be worn over their Coats." 

On September 28th, 1797, the Lieutenant-Colonel requests 
the officers to provide themselves with sashes and feathers 
to wear, agreeable to general orders of the 16th inst. 

The regiment seems to have had a few rather insub- 
ordinate men, and regimental courts-martial were frequent ; 
Private Peter Whittamore, of Captain Moore's company^ 
having been tried for abusive language to Sergeant Collier 
on the 13th September, and again on the 12th October. 

Each battalion of infantry in these days had two field- 
guns (6-pounders) attached, and they were worked by the 
men without any horses, as will be seen by this order 
(September 25th, 1787) :— 

^^ The troop to beat to-morrow morning at a quarter past 
8 o'clock when the parade will be immediately formed. 
The two companies from the forts to be at the Links at 
half past 8 o'clock. The grenadiers and battalion com- 
panies to be furnished with ten rounds of practising 
cartridges, the light infantry and artillery with fifteen 

On the 13th October general orders were issued to the 

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whole army announcing the victory of Admiral Duncan's 
fleet over the Dutch (at Camperdown), and at all garrisons 
salutes and feux de joie were ordered to be fired. 

On the 24th October the regiment marched from East- 
bourne to Lewes, as is before stated, two companies which 
were stationed in the forts under Lieutenant Chandless 
marching as soon as relieved on the 26th October. 

At Lewes Colonel Brady of the Royal Artillery was in com- 
mand of the Brigade, composed of a detachment of Boyal 
Artillery, Bedford Militia, South Hants Militia. 

Regimental orders of November 4th, 1797, show a 
general good-feeling which deserves to be recorded : — 

** The Commanding OflScer and Officers of the Bedford 
regiment, highly pleased at the conduct of the non-com- 
missioned officers and privates, who have voluntarily offered 
a day's pay towards the relief of the widows and orphans 
of the brave men who so nobly fell in the defence of the 
country, under the command of Admiral Duncan, desire 
to join them in their benevolent intentions. Should the 
restless and sanguinary disposition of our enemies induce 
them to put in practice their long-meditated plan of 
invasion—the contest, being for everything dear to us, must 
be bloody — the magnitude of the subscription to which they 
have so handsomely contributed, and which is become so 
general throughout the kingdom, must etfford them great 
satisfaction, as it proves the gratitude of their country 
towards the widows and children of those who so nobly fell 
in its defence." 

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On the 16th December a general order was issued ordering 
the immediate practising of a new system of light infantry 


On the 22nd January a general order was issued for 
camp equipment to be issued to every regiment in the 
Southern District, and for all regiments to be prepared to 
march at the shortest notice. 

In the early part of this year occurred perhaps the only 
instance of circumstances detrimental to the good order 
and credit of the regiment during its long history. 

The old orders reveal that on the part of some of the 
officers repeated acts of disobedience of orders occurred^ 
with reference to an order more than once issued by Colonel 
Moore, "that officers were invariably to march with their 
companies to and from their quarters to the parade 
ground," which orders some of the officers deliberately 
disobeyed, and which conduct called from Colonel Moore 
a very strongly-worded order. This mistaken and im- 
proper conduct of the officers quickly communicated itself 
to the men ; and an order issued by Colonel Moore that 
the men were not to wear their best coats without 
orders, was disobeyed by nearly the whole of the men, on 
the ground that their old clothing was worn out and cold. 

On the 25th of January 1798 the following regimental 
after-order appears : — 

" Colonel Moore cannot find words to express his anger 

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at many of the men appearing in their best jackets 
this morning, in direct disobedience of orders. It induces 
him to repeat again what he has so frequently done, 
that he will never forgive any man who is daring 
enough to wilfully disobey orders, whatever soldier may 
suffer by it. If a soldier thinks himself aggrieved in any 
particular, he is to state it in the most respectful manner 
to the officer of his company. Should he not get that 
redress that he conceives is right, then he is to mention 
his complaints to the Commanding Officer of the regiment, 
when he will most certainly receive every right and have 
justice done him; but disobedience of orders is a crime 
in a soldier that not only disgraces him, but will most 
certainly be a means of preventing him from receiving 
any indulgence whatever, and lead him to a state of 
misery and punishment. As the Colonel is, and ever 
was, more anxious to prevent than inflict punishment, 
he agedn thinks it necessary to caution the men from 
behaving improperly, as he is determined to make an 
example of any man who may oflfend him by any im- 
proper behaviour by disgracing the regiment he has the 
honour to command." 

Other regiments at this period appear to have had the 
^ame difficulty with their subaltern officers, and the general 
orders of the 27th January 1798 notify that Lieutenants 
CoUey and Carter, of the West Middlesex Militia, have 
been dismissed the service for disrespectful behaviour to 
their commanding officer. The regimental orders of this 

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day, issued by Colonel Moore, point to the officers 
whose conduct and bad example caused the men of 
the Bedfordshire to forget' the traditions of the regi- 

** Regimental Orders.— The general order of this day 
is a pretty strong proof that the Commander-in-Chief, 
Sir Charles Grey, is determined that every manner of 
subordination shall be kept up in the Southern District, 
and the Colonel is equally determined to execute his 
trust and power by making an example of the first person 
that may disgrace his regiment. 

*' He cannot avoid adding that he has reason to caution 
every good man in the regiment from being led astray by 
the persuasion or example of bad men ; and as they love 
their own reputation, honour, and happiness, they will 
avoid associating with every man of this description ; but 
to avoid him as they would a pestilence, for otherwise it 
will be sure to bring down upon them the most sure and 
exemplary punishment. 

*'The Colonel cannot avoid expressing in public orders this 
day his perfect satisfaction at the appearance and behaviour 
of the men at divine service to-day. At the same time he 
cannot help animadverting the very shameful and irreligious 
conduct of two of his officers : their conduct was marked 
with united disrespect and contempt of everything, either 
sacred or good, in every respect unbecoming a man, much 
less a gentleman and an officer^ who ought to be an 
example to their men for a diametrically opposite conducts 

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The Colonel has, in consequence, ordered them under 
arrest. He hopes and trusts that, exerting this his autho- 
rity, the whole of the regiment will be convinced that, let 
them be ever so high in rank in the Begiment he has the 
honour to command, they shall not escape punishment, 
who, in defiance of all order and discipline, are hardy 
•enough to trespass against them." 

General orders issued by General Sir Charles Grey, on 
the 9th February 1798, ordered a general court-marticJ 
to assemble at Lewes on the 15th, for the trial of Lieu- 
tenants Stevenson and Carpenter, of the Bedfordshire 

Colonel Sir Narborough Daith, of the East Kent Militia, 
to be President. 

The South Hants Militia to furnish one captain and one 

The Denbigh Militia to furnish one captain. 

The Derbyshire Militia to furnish one captain. 

The West York Militia to furnish one field officer and 
one captain. 

The West Essex Militia to furnish one field officer. 

The proceedings of this court-martial were promulgated 
in general orders of the 10th March 1798, as follows : — 

*' The Judge Advocate-General, having transmitted to 
General Sir Charles Grey, His Majesty's pleasure respect- 
ing a general court-martial held at Lewes on Thursday 
the 15th of last month, £tnd on several subsequent days, 
for the trial of Lieutenant William Stevenson, of the 

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Bedfordshire Militia, upon several articles of charges 
preferred against him, viz. : — 

" Ist Charge. 

'' Scandalous, infamous, and irreligious behaviour, such 
as is unbecoming the character of a Christian, an officer, 
and a gentleman, at St. Michael's Church, Lewes, on 
Sunday the 28th day of January last, and a violation of 
his Colonel's orders, delivered to him on the general 
parade of the garrison or troops near Lewes, on the morn- 
ing of that day, by the Adjutant. 

'* The Court is of opinion that Lieutenant Stevenson is 
Not Guilty of scandalous, infamous^ and irreligious 
behaviour, such as is unbecoming the character of a 
Christian, an officer, and a gentleman, as expressed in this 
charge, but that he is Guilty of having behaved indecently 
and irreverently at St. Michael's Church, on Sunday, 
January 28th, last, in breach of the 5th Section of the 
1st Article of War ; and the Court doth acquit Lieutenant 
Stevenson of the latter part of the said charge, viz. a viola- 
tion of the Colonel's orders, delivered to him on the general 
parade of the garrison or troops near Lewes, on the morning 
of that day, by the Adjutant. 

'' Ind Charge. 
"Disrespectful and contemptuous behaviour at East- 
bourne in or about the month of August last, by using very 
improper and unsoldier-like language on being refused 
leave to go to Brigthelmstone. 

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'' The Court is of opinion that Lieutenant Stevenson is 
Guilty of this charge, to the prejudice of good order and 
military discipline. 

" 3rrf Charge. 

" Disrespectful and contemptuous behaviour to his 
Colonel, and other his commanding and superior officers^ 
in paying them no compliment either on parade or else- 
* where for several months past. 

" The Court is of opinion that Lieutenant Stevenson 
is Not Guilty of this charge, and do therefore acquit 

" 4M Charge. 

'* Disrespectful and contemptuous behaviour in writing 
and rudely delivering an improper note to his Colonel, 
on the 18th day of January last. 

*' The Court is of opinion that Lieutenant Stevenson is 
Guilty of disrespectful behaviour in delivering a note to 
his Colonel on the 18th day of January last, to the pre* 
judice of good order and military discipline. 

" 5M Charge. 

"Disrespectful and contemptuous behaviour to Lieu- 
tenant and Quartermaster Lessley, in writing and sending 
him an improper note in or about the month of August 

** The Court is of opinion that Lieutenant Stevenson is 
Not Guilty of this charge, and doth therefore acquit 

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''6M Charge. 
" Breaking his arrest on Thursday the 8th inst. 
" The Court is of opinion that Lieutenant Stevenson is 
Not Guilty of this charge, and do therefore acquit him. 

"7M Charge. 

" Disobedience of orders and neglect of duty in not 
taking his Guard on or about the 26th of November last. 

'' The Court is of opinion that Lieutenant Stevenson is 
Guilty of this Charge, contrary to the Ist part of the 5th 
Article of the 14th Section of the Articles of War. 

" 8M Charge. 

" Disobedience of orders and neglect of duty, in absent- 
ing himself from Eastbourne, when in orders for duty, 
without leave, on or about the 23rd October last. 

" The Court is of opinion that Lieutenant Stevenson is 
Guilty of this Charge, contrary to the 5 th Article of the 
11th Section of the Articles of War ; but that the Com- 
manding OflBcer, at the time, received from Lieutenant 
Stevenson an apology, and gave him what he adjudged a 
sufficient reprimand for the oflfence. 

" Sentence. 
" In respect to the 1st and 4th Articles of which the 
said Lieutenant William Stevenson, hath, in part, been 
found Guilty, and of the 2nd and 7th Articles of which he 
the said Lieutenant William Stevenson hath as also been 
found Guilty : the Court, taking into its consideration the 


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5th Article of the 11th Section, and also the 2nd Article 
of the 24th Section of the Articles of War, doth adjudge 
the said Lieutenant William Stevenson to be suspended 
from rank and pay, within the Bedfordshire Regiment of 
Militia, for the space of twelve months. But the Court, 
taking into their consideration, also, that the said Lieu- 
tenant William Stevenson hath (excepting the instances on 
which he hath also been found Guilty) done his duty in 
the said Begiment with attention and regularity, and to the 
satisfaction of his Commanding Officer, doth most humbly 
recommend that His Majesty, in his wisdom and goodness, 
will be graciously pleased to permit the said Lieutenant 
William Stevenson to resign the Commission he now holds 
in the said Regiment. And with respect to the 9th or addi- 
tional Article of Charge exhibited against him, the said 
Lieutenant William Stevenson, viz. breaking his arrest on 
the 14th instant, the Court is of opinion that Lieutenant 
William Stevenson is Not Guilty of this Charge, and doth 
therefore acquit him. 

" His Majesty, having taken the opinion of the said Court- 
Martial into his serious consideration, has been pleased 
to approve thereof, at the same time generously attending 
to their recommendation, founded on Lieutenant Steven- 
sons regular and attentive discharging his duty in every 
instance (except those addressed against him upon his 
trial), His Majesty is pleased to permit that he do now 
resign the Commission of Lieutenant which he holds in 
the Bedfordshire Regiment of Militia." 

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" Proceeedings of a General Court-Martial held upon Lieu- 
tenant John Carpenter of the Bedfordshire Militia. 

*'The Judge Advocate-General has also transmitted to 
General Sir John Grey His Majesty's pleasure respecting 
a General Court-Martial held at Lewes on the 24th March 
last, and subsequent days, for the trial of Lieutenant John 
Carpenter of the Bedfordshire Regiment of Militia upon 
several Charges preferred against him. 

" 1*^ Charge. 

^'Behaving in a scandalous and infamous manner, such as 
is unbecoming the character of an Officer and a Gentleman, 
in coming into the mess-room of his Regiment on Thurs- 
day, the 25th day of January last, at Lewes ; telling his 
Colonel, in a rude and improper manner, in the presence of 
sundry Officers then at dinner (several soldiers, being servants, 
then and there attending their masters), that the contents 
of a letter he had received from the Adjutant (which letter 
was written to him by order of the Colonel, as stated in it) 
* was false ; not a word of truth in it,' and repeating the 
same in a very indecent, rude, and unsoldier-like manner, 
to the subversion of good order and discipline, and also 
disobedience of orders. 

'*The Court is of opinion that Lieutenant John Carpenter 
is Guilty of this Charge, to the prejudice of good order 
and military discipline, and contrary to the 5th Article of 
the 2nd Section of the Articles of War. 

3 * 

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" 2nd Charge. 

" Scandalous, iDfamous, and irreligious behaviour, such 
as is unbecomiug the character of a Christian, an Officer, 
and a Gentleman, at St. Michael's Church on the 28th 
day of January last ; and a violation of his Colonel's orders 
delivered to him on the general parade of the garrison or 
troops near Lewes, on the morning of that day, by the 
Adjutant ; and for disobedience of orders on that day. 

"The Court is of opinion that Lieutenant John Carpenter 
is Not Guilty of scandalous, infamous, and irreligious 
behaviour, such as is unbecoming the character of a 
Christian, an Officer, and a Gentleman, exposed in this 
Charge ; but that he is Guilty of having behaved indecently 
and irreverently at St. Michael's Church on Sunday, the 
28th of January last, in breach of the 1st Section of the 1st 
Article of War ; and the Court doth acquit the said Lieu- 
tenant John Carpenter of the latter part of the said Charge, 
viz. a violation of his Colonel's orders delivered to him on 
the general parade of the garrison or troops near Lewes, 
on the morning of that day, by the Adjutant. 

" 8rrf Charge. 

" Scandalous and infamous conduct and behaviour at 
Eastbourne in or about the middle of August last, such as 
is unbecoming the character of an Officer and a Gentleman, 
by wantonly fighting near the usual parade of the troops 
with his drawn sword, and wounding a Brother Officer in 

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several places, and absenting himself from parade without 
leave at the same time. 

" The Court is of opinion that Lieutenant John Carpenter 
is Guilty of this Charge, to the prejudice of good order 
and military discipline; but it appears in evidence that 
an explanation took place between the said Lieutenant 
Carpenter and his Commanding Officer in respect to the 
offence contained in the said Charge soon after it was 
committed, and that the Commanding Officer was properly 
satisfied therewith. 

" 4M Charge. 

"Disrespectful and contemptuous behaviour to his Colonel 
and other his superior Officers, in paying them no com- 
pliments either upon parade or elsewhere for several 
months past. 

" The Court is of opinion that Lieutenant Carpenter is 
Guilty of having omitted to pay to his Colonel when on 
parade the compliment customary in the Regiment, to the 
prejudice of good order. 

** Sentence. 

** The Court, having taken into consideration the 5th 
Article of the 2nd Section of the 2nd Article of War, doth 
adjudge the said Lieutenant John Carpenter to be dismissed 
from His Majesty's Bedfordshire Regiment of Militia. 

*' His Majesty, having taken the proceedings of the Court- 
Martial into his most serious consideration, has thought 
proper to confirm their Sentence. 

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'* Whereby the said Lieutenant John Carpenter is ad- 
judged to be dismissed from the Bedfordshire Regiment of 

" General Sir Charles Grey directs that His Majesty's 
pleasure, cks expressed in the foregoing orders respecting the 
prisoners Stevenson and Carpenter, be intimated to them. 

*' The above Court-Martial is dissolved. 

(Signed) "John T. Vischer, 

" Aide-de-Camp. 
**A true copy. 
" H. Shelley, A.D.C. 

" Ofl&cer Commanding Troops, Lewes." 

It is believed that these two Courts-Martial are the only 
ones that have been held upon OflScers of the Regiment since 
it was raised. 

It would appear that Colonel Moore's differences with 
his Ofl&cers did not end in the Courts- Martial referred to, 
as, on the 8rd of March of this year General Sir Charles 
Grey ordered a Court of Enquiry to assemble at Lewes on 
the 5th, to investigate " such Charges as may be brought 
before them by Colonel Moore, of the Bedford Militia, on 
the misconduct of Lieutenants Aickin and F. Aickin, of 
the same Regiment. 

The Court was composed of — 

Major South, South Hants Militia. 
Captain Docwra, Bedford Militia. 
„ Pitt, South Hants Militia. 

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As Lieutenant F. Aickin appears in orders for pioquet 
the day after the assembly of this Court, it may be taken 
for granted that the two cousins had not committed any 
very great offence against the Articles of War. 

On the 26th of this month the Regiment was reinforced 
by a draft of supplementary Militia from Bedford, and 
these were conducted on the march to Lewes by two 
OflBcers who had been home on leave. On the 24th a 
General Order was issued, that in consequence of the 
augmentation of the old Militia from the supplementary^ 
the Grenadier and Light Infantry companies of all Militia 
Regiments that had been augmented, were to be com- 
pleted to 100 rank and file. 

On the 26th March, Regimental Orders show that the 
men of the supplementary Militia who had served their 
time with the Regiment were dismissed, and in issuing 
orders for their march back to Bedford, thank them for 
their good conduct. 

On the 80th March, a detachment of 95 rank and file, 
under the command of Captain Orlebar and Lieutenant 
Aickin, marched to Uckfield and Maresfield, there to be 

On the 12th May orders were issued for the Bedfordshire 
Militia to march — 

2 companies to Tunbridge Wells. 
1 „ „ East Grinstead and Forrest Row. 

1 ,, „ Godstone and Bletchingley. 

1 „ „ Westerham and Limpsfield. 

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IJ companies to Uckfield and Maresfield. 
IJ „ „ Ryegate and adjacent villages. 

To march on the 15th. 

They were relieved at Lewes by the West Essex Militia. 
The head-quarters were at Westerham. On the 27th May, 
a very strongly-worded General Order was issued by Sir 
Charles Grey with reference to the misconduct of the 
West Middlesex Militia, in marching from ShornclijQFe to 
Thame Bay. Colonel Bayley seems to have allowed ** a 
total relaxation of all discipline and subordination " ; the 
men broke loose all over the country, got drunk, and 
plundered houses; and Colonel Bayley is informed that 
unless " he effects a perfect reform of his Regiment," 
its condition will be reported to the Commander-in-Chief. 

These records are simply intended to be what they 
profess, and I carefully omit any reference to the political 
or historical episodes of the day ; but it is as well here 
to state, that at this time the rebellion in Ireland assumed 
the most serious aspect, and the French Republican Govern- 
ment were fitting out an expedition to assist the Irish rebels. 

As has always been the case in times of emergency, 
the Government were obliged to look to the Militia 
to supply the requisite force for service in Ireland, and 
the Militia Regiments were called upon to volunteer to 
go to that Country. This step was, however, opposed in 
both Houses of Parliament, where Members stated various 
objections to the course being pursued ; but on the 20th 
June, 1798, Mr. Dundas, Secretary at War, brought up 

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letters from the Colonels of the Carnarvonshire, Royal 
Bucks, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Caer- 
marthenshire and Dorsetshire Militia, offering to serve in 
Ireland ; and, on the 28rd, from the West Suffolk, South 
Devon, Carnarvon, Hereford, Isle of Wight, and South 
Lincoln; and on the 27th from the East Kent, Merioneth, 
and Montgomery. 

The Bedfordshire Militia* volunteered for service in 
Ireland in June, as this order will show : — 

" 24th June 1798. " Tunbridge Wells. 

" Regimental After-orders. 

" The report received from the Commanding OflBcers of 
companies, in consequence of orders relative to the 
Regiment making known their sentiments to the Colonel, 
in respect to the tendering their service to His Majesty to 
assist in quelling the rebellion in Ireland, abundantly 
justifies the opinion Colonel Moore ever entertained of 
their loyalty to their King and attachment to their Country; 
and when an opportunity presents itself, the Bedford- 
shire Militia would most cheerfully volunteer any service 
where they might do themselves so much honour, and 
particularly at this time, in assisting to protect the lives 
and property of our fellow-subjects against a lawless set 
of traitors and rebels. 

" The Colonel begs to assure the whole of his Regiment 
that he will most cheerfully make known their sentiments, 

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that redound so much to their own honour, and the County 
for which they serve. He has not a doubt, should their 
service be accepted, but that they will soon return to their 
native homes, with the welcome and thankful congratula- 
tions of their Country and King. 

" The Colonel is confident that every exertion will be 
used by his Brother Officers to co-operate with himself 
towards making everything comfortable and pleasant to 
every soldier, as the nature of the service will admit. He 
will also use his utmost interest with the Lord-Lieutenant of 
the County, the Deputy Lieutenants and acting Magistrates, 
to procure every necessary aid for the wives and children 
of the soldiers who have so gallantly made a tender of 
their service. 

"The Colonel cannot avoid adding his most firm 
dependence that the men will continue, with their present 
Officers, anxious to share the honour and glory of the 
field, which he anticipates will attach glory to the Bed- 
fordshire Regiment, whenever called to actual service." 

In the House of Lords the proposal to send the English 
Militia Regiments was strongly opposed ; and when the 
Act empowering the King for a time, and to an extent to 
be limited, to accept the services of the Militia for service 
in Ireland, the Dukes of Leeds and Norfolk both protested 
against it, on the ground " that any departure, under 
whatever circumstances, from conditions hitherto con- 
sidered sacred, and on which every engagement respecting 

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Militia service has hitherto proceeded, must create dis- 
trust with regard to its future destination, and hereafter 
render it extremely diflBcult to find persons of property and 
independence disposed to serve as OflScers." 

These forebodings of the noble Dukes appear to have 
been unheeded by the Lords, and the Act was passed, and 
speedily received the Eoyal Assent; and orders were 
immediately given for several Militia Regiments to march 
to Liverpool and Bristol, for embarkation for Ireland,. 
The Regiments ordered, I find by an old return, were — 

Bedford, Colonel Moore. 

Bucks, Colonel The Marquis of Buckingham. 

Oxford, Colonel Lord Charles Spencer, M.P. 

East Suffolk, Colonel Goate. 

Warwick, Colonel The Marquis of Hertford. 

Carmarthen, Colonel Johnes, M.P. 

Denbigh, Colonel Sir W. Watkin Wynne, M.P. 

Merioneth, Colonel Vaughan. 

Montgomery, Colonel Browne. 

Cambridge, Colonel The Earl of Hardwicke. 

1st W. York, Colonel Earl Fitzwilliam. 

2nd W. York, Colonel Viscount Downe. 

Pembroke, Colonel Colby. 

There can be very little doubt that the volunteering- 
to serve in Ireland was accompanied by the payment of a 
bounty to the men, and that a good deal of disorder waa 
caused by it. 

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The Eegiment inarched ftom Tunbridge Wells to Hastings 
on the 27th and 28th June, and was encamped on Bo- 
peep Down, where it remained during July and August. 

On the 4th July the Regimental Orders contain an order 
to march all prisoners from Hastings to Bopeep, at 5 a.m., 
and a Regimental Court-Martial — Captain Moore, President, 
Lieutenant Sawell, Ensign NicoU, Lieutenant Turley, 
Ensign Comyn, members — was ordered to assemble for 
their trial at 6 a.m. 

The Colonel ordered the Court, to " be as expeditious 
as the nature of the duty will permit, as he not only pur- 
poses being there himself, but will not dispense with the 
absence of any man whatever." 

On the 5th July, Colonel Moore read the Articles of War 
to the Regiment, and he then had the Sentences of the 
several Courts-Martial read, and the prisoners at once 
flogged ; and he, after the parade, had the following order 
read to the men : — 

*' The Colonel cannot avoid expressing in this day's orders 
his great indignation and abhorrence of the conduct of 
several men in his Regiment of late, notwithstanding the 
severe examples that have been recently made; shocked 
in the extreme by the number of prisoners that will this 
day be brought to shameful punishment, to the discredit 
and disgrace of the Regiment which they belong to. 
However unpleasant it is to the Colonel's feeling, he 
is determined to do his duty; and were the whole Regiment 
to lose sight of their duty, allegiance, and obedience to the 

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law, both civil and military, he would, at the certainty 
of losing his life in . the cause, bring them to condign 
punishment. Ever wishing to be the means of preventing 
corporal punishment, and ever studying every means to 
making the duty of every good soldier as easy and comfort- 
able as possible, he is induced to give out the following 
Standing Orders, to prevent, if possible, the Eegiraent being 
so frequently disgraced by the behaviour of bad men, as 
also a trouble to the OflBcers, non-commissioned Officers, 
and all good soldiers, in being harassed, and witnesses of the 
very unpleasant sight of corporal punishment. The Colonel, 
therefore, orders, that in future no man whatever who may 
be brought to a Court-Martial and found guilty, that no 
Officer whatever, however high his rank, nor will the 
Colonel himself ever suffer any man so circumstanced to 
have any furlough, pass, or miss any guard, parade, or, in 
short, any duty whatever, for the space of eighteen months. 
The Colonel repeats that this is a Standing Order, and 
should any commissioned Officer violate it, he will consider 
it as a wilful disobedience of his orders, and treat it 

" After this warning, it is to be hoped that all men will 
be cautioned that they do not get into scrapes, and avoid 
bad company, and that the credit and reputation of the 
Regiment may again be brought to its wonted goodness 
by the sincere repentance and contrition of all bad men 
that have crept into it." 

** The Colonel takes this opportunity of expressing in 

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strong terms that the opinion he ever entertained of the 
Bedford Militia, which he has the honour to command, 
having been an Officer in it nearly thirty years, is still 
strong in its favour, notwithstanding the present unfortunate 
disgraceful scene before us, and that all commissioned 
Officers, non-commissioned Officers and good men will 
henceforward unite with him in restoring the good character 
of the Regiment to its wonted purity. All bad men will 
most assuredly be most severely punished, and receive no 
indulgence whatever, agreeable to the standing orders of 
this day, and all good men shall receive every possible 
indulgence in consistence with the nature of the service." 

This strongly-worded quaint old order may seem strange 
to us in 1884, but it must be remembered that in the days 
which we are referring to, men joined Militia Regiments 
as substitutes. A young Gentleman or Farmer's son was 
balloted for, and drew a bad number ; dozens of men of 
questionable character were always ready, at a price, to join 
the Militia to replace those who did not wish to serve, and 
these bad characters continually served in different Militia 
Regiments, and the Officers were totally unable to prevent 
their joining, or to get rid of them when they had got them. 
At this time even local Magistrates used to give criminals 
their option of going to gaol or joining the army. In an 
old newspaper I found that in Berkshire several cases of 
highway robberies had occurred, owing to " many villains 
of loose character '* having gone to Newbury in the hope 
of being paid for going as substitutes for the Militia. 

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On the 8th July 1798 General Orders were issued for the 
immediate formation of new Battalions of Militia, from 
the flank companies of Militia Regiments, in the Southern 
District ; three Battalions of Grenadiers, and three of Light 

The 3rd Battalion of Grenadiers was formed at Shoreham, 
commanded by Lieutenant- Colonel Payne of the Bedford 
Militia, composed of six companies of men from the South 
Middlesex, Northampton, Denbigh, Bedford, Glamorgan, 
and Derby Regiments. Orders were issued that all Officers, 
non-commissioned Officers, and men serving in these 
Battalions were to have the same pay, allowances, and 
pensions, as the regular service. 

Early in September of this year the Bedfordshire 
Militia, though much reduced in strength, received the 
route, to march from Hastings to Rock Ferry, in Cheshire, 
to embark for Ireland ; and on the 7th September it set 
out on its long march, halting on the way at Cuckfield, 
Guildford, Cirencester, Worcester, Shrewsbury, and Chester, 
embarking on the morning of the 14th in transports for 

The records say that the Regiment was conveyed from 
Hastings to Rock Ferry in waggons. 

The Irish Correspondent of the " Times '' of September 
24th, 1798, states under date of September 20th : ** Since 
our last, the Bedford Militia, commanded by Colonel Moore, 
arrived in this City from England '* ; and on the 22nd he 
states " that the remaining companies of the Bedford, 

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Worcester, and South Lincoln Regiments, which had been 
delayed at Liverpool by contrary winds, arrived here on 

The Dublin Correspondent of the " Times " of the 1st 
October, states : 

" Whatever loss of population the kingdom has sus- 
tained by the rebellion, will be supplied by the arrival 
of so many English Kegiments ; and should they remain 
here, their agricultural skill may reclaim much of our 
waste lands." 

" We have heard of many of the Subaltern Officers and 
Privates being already married in Dublin ; but the matri- 
monial duty will not entirely devolve on them — Cupid can 
pierce a Cornet's as easily as a Corporal's heart. 

" The beautiful Miss has fascinated the heart of 

a young Marquis, and Miss , of Merrion Square, has 

made a deep impression on a young Nobleman of high rank." 

The same Correspondent says, on the 29th September, 
that the Bedfordshire Militia left Dublin the day before 
on their route to country quarters. 

At this time the duty of the troops in Ireland was of 
the most arduous nature : on the west and south coasts 
the French had landed, and had endeavoured to foment the 
rebellion, but found the rebels had no sort of organization. 
In the skirmishes which took place in the six months 
previously, several Irish Militia Regiments were engaged 
with the French troops. 

I quote a Dublin newspaper of November Ist, to give 

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some sort of idea as to what service in Ireland then 
was : — 

** On Monday last three private soldiers of the Worcester 
Militia, quartered in a house between MuUingar and Port 
Lemon, were murdered in their beds, with shocking 
aggravation of wanton cruelty, by a gang of armed rebels. 
A party of Yeomanry Cavalry hastily assembled, and 
pursued the murderers fifteen miles into King's County, 
where unfortunately they could overtake only four of the 
villains ; two were killed, the other two they brought in 
wounded and prisoners." 

The Begimental Eecords state that the Regiment left 
Dublin on the 2nd October, and marched to Trim and 
Kells, where it remained until September 5th in the 
following year. 


In 1799 volunteering from the Militia to the Line 
was first introduced, and our records show that during 
this year the Bedfordshire gave 105 men. (See Appen- 

The newspapers of the day say that very large numbers 
of Militiamen volunteered, and they describe the mode 
of volunteering. 

" The British Eegiments of Militia are vying with one 
another in volunteering into the Line. The General orders 
of Field-Marshal the Duke of York are read on three 
parades, and on the fourth day after, every man volun- 
teering is to appear in a certain cockade." 


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" On the fourth day after these orders ha4 been read to 
the South Lincoln, the whole Eegiment to a man appeared 
with a cockade, as well as several Subaltern OflScers." V 

The Bedfordshire Militia having volunteered more than 
a quarter of its strength, was ordered to return to Bedford 
to recruit, and on the 6th September marched to Drogheda, 
and embarked for England on the 18th, landing at Liverpool 
on the 14th, and at once marched to Chester, where it 
halted unti] the 20th. 

It commenced its march home, leaving Chester on the 
20th October, halting at Nantwich, Newcastle-under-Lyne, 
Uttoxeter, Burton, Atherstone, Lutterworth, Harborough, 
Kettering, and Higham Ferrers, marching into Bedford 
on the 16th October. 


The Eegiment remained at Bedford until May 1800, and 
had a detachment at Dunstable. 

I may here state for the information of many who are 
not aware of the magnitude of the force employed at the 
time we write of, that the number of troops in Ireland 
at the end of 1800 was : — 

Regulars .... 45,889. 
Militia .... 27,104. 
Yeomanry .... 58,557. 

The total military establishment of the United Kingdom 
(exclusive of the marine establishment 100,000 men, and 
the Volunteers) was 817,952 men. 

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In searching for information respecting my own Begiment 
during these times,, I came across an account of the execu- 
tion of two deserters, which I think is worthy of record. 

" On the 20th June 1800, two of the York Hussars 
(Yeomanry) were shot on Bincomhe Down, near Weymouth^ 
pursuant to sentence of Court-Martial, for desertion and 
cutting a boat out of Weymouth Harbour, with the intention 
of deserting to France ; they however, landed by mistake^ 
in Guernsey, where they were arrested and secured. 

" The regiments in camp were drawn up (viz. the Greys, 
Rifle Corps, Stafford, Berkshire, and North Devon Militia.. 

"They came on the ground in a mourning coach, 
accompanied by two Priests. After going along the front, 
they went to the centre, where they were allowed twenty 
minutes for prayer ; they were then shot at by a guard of 
twenty-four men, they dropped instantly, and expired 
without a groan. 

" The men wheeled in sections, and marched past the 
bodies in slow time." 

In May 1800 we find the Regiment, after having been 
recruited in the County during the winter, once more upon 
the march, having received orders to proceed to the west 
of England ; and early in that month it marched by Higham 
Ferrers, Kettering, Harborough, Atherstone, Lichfield, to 
Stafford, where it appears to have only halted for a week, 
when it marched, vid Wolverhampton, Kidderminster, 
Worcester, Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Newport,. 
Bristol, Wells, and Bridgewater to Taunton, where it waa 

4 ♦ 

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Stationed until September. It left Taunton at the end of 
September, and proceeded by Honiton and Exeter to 
Ashburton and Newton Bushell, where it was quartered 
for about a month, when it was ordered to Plymouth, where 
it arrived in the middle of October, It did garrison duty 
in this Town during the winter of 1800, and the Civil 
Authorities publicly complimented the Kegiment upon its 
iliscipline and good conduct upon the occasion of its being 
called out to preserve order during a large fire. 


In May the Eegiment moved, part into huts on Maker 
Heights, the remainder to Cawsand and Millbrook, and 
to forts Nos. 1 and 2. 

In November 1801 the Kegiment received orders to 
return to Bedford, to be disembodied, and its march from 
Plymouth was no easy one, as this winter was one 
•of the most severe on record. It left its quarters on 
Maker Heights on the 9th November, and the Records 
here give the number of miles marched each day: to — 
Ivy Bridge, November 9th, 15 miles; 



10th, 18 



11th, 10 



13th, 10 



14th, 12 



16th, 20 



17th, 12 



18th, 21 

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Bath, November 20th, 

20 miles ; 



14 „ 



10 „ 



11 » 



17 „ 



26 „ 



12 „ 

Newport Pagnell, 


14 „ 

Bedford, December 


17 „ 

making a total of 254 miles marched in seventeen days. 

The Eegimental Eecord says, on the 27th November 
1801 a heavy fall of snow came on as the Begiment 
commenced to march from Burford to Bicester ; it was 
with much dijB&culty that several of the men were brought 
on, on that day's march. The baggage was impeded, and 
did not come up that day. 

The day after the arrival of the Kegiment at Bedford 
it was disembodied, having been on actual service nine 
years and eighty days. 

1802, 1803. 
At the close of the year 1801 Europe was exhausted by 
the wars that had been going on for so long ; and all 
Nations were looking forward to a period of peace, and a 
general disarmament began to take place. In England, as 
we have seen, the Militia were disembodied, the Volunteers 
were disbanded, and large numbers of the regular army 
were discharged. But the eace was of short duration, for 

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early in 1803 the insatiable spirit of conquest of Napoleon 
would not rest, and he unexpectedly told Lord Whitworth, 
the British Ambassador in Paris : " A descent upon your 
coasts is the only means of offence I possess ; and that 
I am determined to attempt, and put myself at its head." 

1803, 1804. 

The call to arms once more sounded through Europe, 
and it need not be said that to this challenge the British 
people at once replied, by supporting their Government in 
every possible way in their eflFort to prepare to meet the 
<5oming struggle. "Majuba Hill " policy was happily un- 
known in England in these days, and a great and 
patriotic Statesman then ruled over her destinies. 

On the 8th March orders were issued to call out the 
Militia, and ten thousand additional Seamen were voted to 
the Navy. 

It is a curious fact, which I have never seen alluded 
to in the vajious histories of this war, that Napoleon 
greatly assisted the British Government in their call to 
arms, by himself writing a State paper, which was presented 
to the French Assembly, stating "that England could not 
contend single-handed with France." This was enough to 
arouse such a patriotic feeling throughout the Country, that 
men of all stations of life flocked in to join the various 
Regiments and Corps of Volunteers that were raised. 

On the 25th March 1803, for the fifth time, the Bedford- 
4shire Militia assembled. Colonel Moore in command, for 

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service, and was at Bedford until the 20th May, when it 
marched to Olney on the 21st, Stoney Stratford (23rd), 
Bicester (24th), Woodstock (25th), Burford (26th), Oiren- 
cester (27th), Tetbury (28th), Sodbury (30th), Bristol 
(81st), a march of 127 miles. It was quartered at Bristol, 
in Horfield Barracks, until June 26th in the following 
year ; when it marched by Shepton Mallet (27th), Somerton 
(28th), to Taunton, where it arrived on the 29th, and 
remained there until the 22nd July, when it was ordered 
to proceed to a camp at Aylesbear, halting at Honiton on 
the 23rd. The Eegiments at this camp were the Corn- 
wall, Bedford, and Wiltshire Militia, under the command 
of Brigadier-General Gore, 

In the month of August these Eegiments had a flying 
camp to Henbury Fort, remained there one night, and 
then returned to the camp at Aylesbear. The Regiment 
remained at Aylesbear till the 30th October, when it went 
into quarters at Exeter, where it was stationed until the 
13th March 1805. 

I omitted to state that previous to the embodiment of 
the Begiment in 1803, the Lords-Lieutenant had again 
balloted for numbers, and the. number borne by the Bed- 
fordshire Militia at this period was No. 13. 

It may not be without interest to remark that at this 
time the minimum height of recruits taken for the Infantry 
of the Line was 5 feet 4 inches; and that the *'levy 
money" for men of this standard was six guineas, of which 
the recruit received five in money and necessaries. Boys 

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enlisting for general service received four guineas, of which 
they received three in money and necessaries. 

During the time the Eegiment was quartered at 
Bristol, certain diflFerences occurred hetween Colonel 
Moore and some of the Senior Officers. I have no docu- 
ments with reference to the matter, hut I have heen told 
by Officers who were aware of the circumstances, that a 
Court of Enquiry investigated the matter, and the result 
was that the Gazette of January 12th, 1805, announced 
that the Lord-Lieutenant had appointed John shorn, 
Esq. (afterwards Sir John Oshom, Bart.), to heColoneL 
The Becords of the Eegiment state that Colonel Moore 
was " displaced."* 

At this time every Town and County had several Volun- 
teer Corps, and in the Ijondon district alone there were no 
less than fifty-six of these Corps. A large portion of these 
existed more on paper than in reality, and the following 
account seems to show that they were not very proficient 
in the use of their arms : — 

" A newly-raised Volunteer Corps, East of the Metropolis, 
met to fire for the first time, when one incautious rear-rank 
man loaded his musket with four successive cartridges 
which had not exploded ; hut having loaded with a fifth 
cartridge, the gun burst, whereby one of the front 
rank had his skull fractured in a fearful manner, and was 

* Since these pages have been in the hands of the Publisher, by per- 
mission of the Adjutant-General I have pemsed the OflBcial Papers, &c. 
relative to this unfortunate affair ; I need say no more than that they 
fully corroborate what I have stated. 

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taken to London Hospital with the hope of his recovery* 
Another private was severely wounded on the side of the 
head and shoulder. 

"We are glad to insert the ahove to prevent the recur- 
rence of further mischief." 

At the end of 1803 the total numher of Volunteers 
was: — 

Infantry . . . . 297,502 

Cavalry . . . • 81,600 

Artillery . . . • 6,207 

Total . 835,509 

The return of the Volunteers of the County of Bedford 
was: — 

Cavalry 177 

Infantry 1,801 

The details of the Bedfordshire Volunteers were — 

Colonel-in-Chief— The Earl of Upper Ossory. 

Bedford Troop — Captain Alston. 
(Loyal) Warden Troop — Captain Lord Ongley. 
Wohurn— Captain the Duke of Bedford. 

Lieut.-Col. Commandant — Hon. John Trevor. 
Lieut.-Colonel — Francis Pym. 
Majors — John Miller, John Harvey. 
This Eegiment was composed of fourteen companies. 

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These Volunteers were in 1808 transformed into ** Local 
Militia," the Cavalry became a Hajold and Bedford troop 
of Yeomanry, which after a few years ceased to exist, 
and ** the Local Militia " consisted of the First Regirnent^ 
of which Samuel Whitbread, Esq., and the Marquis of 
Tavistock were the Lieutenant-Colonels, and the Second 
Regiment^ of which Lord St. John and K. Garstin were the 
Lieutenant-Colonels ; each Begiment had eight companies. 

I believe the Colours of the 1st Begiment are to this 
day at Woburn Abbey ; and it is worthy of remark that in 
1810 Lord John Bussell (afterwards Earl Bussell) held 
a Captain's commission in the 1st Local Militia. 


In March Colonel Osbom joined the Begiment at Exeter, 
and assumed the Command, and on the 13th of the month 
it marched to Newton Bushell, where it halted on the 14th, 
and on the following day marched into hut barracks at 
Berry Head. The remains of these old barracks still exist 
on Berry Head, very high land, on the west side of Torbay, 
overhanging the Town of Brixham. 

The Begiment remained in this station until the 28rd 
July, when it marched by Newton Bushell, to a camp at 
Lympstone where it arrived on the 25th. 

The Begiments at the camp were the Bedford, Brd Lan- 
cashire, North Devon, and Worcester Begiments of Militia, 
under the command of Lieutenant General Lennox. 

It should be remembered that at this time the whole 

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Country was in a state of alarm, and the southern coasts 
teemed with troops, for a French invasion was every day 

In July, Napoleon assembled the celebrated *'Army 
of England ^' at Boulogne, a force of 113,474 men, for 
the invasion of this Country, and he wrote to his Minister 
of Marine : " The English do not know what waits them; 
if we are masters of the Channel for two hours, England 
has lived her timeJ^ 

These words, which convey a remarkable truth, should 
never be forgotten by Englishmen, and they are as appli- 
cable now as they were in 1805. It is beyond the scope of 
these Eecords to recount the History of our Country; but 
it was not the enormous armaments we had collected on 
our coasts which prevented Napoleon's scheme of invasion, 
but the untiring energy of Lord Nelson in pursuing the 
French fleet to the West Indies, and back again to Europe, 
and to the glorious battle of Trafalgar, which left England, 
as of old, mistress of the seas. That she may maintain this 
position, should be the prayer of every Englishman, and 
the bounden duty of everyone calling himself an English 

The Eegimental Eecords state that this Brigade marched 
from Lympstone camp on the 15th September, taking 
their camp equipage with them^ pitching their tents on 
the 16th near Exeter, 17th Newton Bushell, 18th Totness, 
19th Modhury, and arriving at Hammerdon Ball, on 
the 20th, a march of fifty-seven miles. 

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On the 22iid October this camp was broken up, and the 
Kegiments composing it dispersed ; and the Bedfordshire 
marched by Ashburton, Chudleigh, and Exeter, to Ottery 
St. Mary, a fifty-two miles' march, where it was quartered 
during the winter. 


In the spring of 1806 it received orders to proceed to 
Poole in Dorsetshire, and commenced its march on the 
7th April by Axminster, Bridport, Dorchester, Blandford, 
to Poole, where it arrived on the 11th, seventy- six miles. 
It, however, only remained at this place for ten days, as 
on the 21st April it was again on the march via Eingwood, 
Southampton, toFareham on the 24th, where it was billeted 
until the 1st May, when it moved to Portsea, and remained 
there until the 17th June, when it went into Barracks at 

In June of this year, Mr. Sawell, who had joined the 
Eegiment in 1780, and who had acted as Paymaster during 
every embodiment, and had accompanied the Eegiment 
during this long time, retired, and was succeeded by 
Mr. Durand as Paymaster (29th July 1806). 

The Eegiment remained at Gosport only until the 23rd 
August, when it was detached, two companies to the Isle 
of Wight, one to Aston Barns ; the head-quarters being at 
Colewort Barracks, Portsmouth. It remained stationed 
as stated, until the 1st October, when it was brought 
together in Hilsea Barracks, Portsmouth. 

On the 28th October it moved across the harbour. 

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to what was then called the Gosport Military Bar- 
racks, to distinguish them from the Royal Marine 

On the 7th November it moved to Fort Monckton, 
and remained there until the 15th February 1808. 

It may be here remarked that the Returns of the Army 
at this time show — 
Regular troops . . • (neajly) 200,000 men. 
Volunteers (of whom 25,000 were cavalry) 290,000 „ 
Militia 80,000 „ 

In this Return, bayonets and sabres alone counted. 

At the end of this year many Regiments of Volunteers 
were changed into "Local Militia." 

In August, Fnglish troops first landed in Spain. 

On the 15th February, the Bedfordshire Militia marched 
from Fort Monckton to Winchester, halting on the 16th 
at Southampton, and was stationed at Winchester Bar- 
racks until the end of July. 

In March the Regiment went to Southampton, for 
duty during the Assizes, and returned when they were 

On the 1st August the Regiment received orders to 
proceed to Weedon, and marched by Basingstoke (August 
1st), Reading (2nd), Wallingford (3rd), Oxford (4th), 
Woodstock (5th), Banbury (6th), Daventry (8th), and 
on the 9th to Weedon. At this place large new barracks 

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had been built, and the Bedfordshire Militia was the first 
Begiment that occupied them. 

1809, 1810. 

The Eegiment remained at Weedon during the whole 
of 1809 and spring of 1810, and on the 2nd July 
marched by Newport Pagnell (2nd), Dunstable (3rd), 
St. Albans (4th), Highgate (5th), Bromley (6th), Seven- 
oaks (7th), Tunbridge Wells (9th), Eotherbride (10th), 
arriving at Hastings on the 11th, having marched 144 

On the lOtb August, it marched with camp equi- 
page, vid Hailsham to Lewes, where it was encamped, 
and on the 18th marched to Brighton, where it was 
Brigaded with the 32nd Foot and 86th Foot at a Eeview 
on Balls Down, in the presence of H.R.H. the Prince 
of Wales. Moat of the troops in the Sussex District 
were assembled. 

In August 1810 Captain Trelawny, who had been Adju- 
tant of the Regiment since 1798, retired, and was succeeded 
by Captain William Hardgrove. 

Much of the good order and credit, which has been 
handed down to the presentBedfordshire Militiamen, is due to 
the soldier-like qualities which Captain Trelawny possessed. 
I have taken a good deal of trouble to find out where 
Captain Trelawny ended his honourable life, but have not 

On the 13th November the Begiment marched by Bexhill 

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(13th), Eastbourne (14th), to Blatchington, where it went 
into huts on the 15th, and remained there till December 
26th, 1810, when it marched by Brighton to Horsham, 
where it was quartered till the 8rd February 1811, when 
it was ordered to Littlehampton and Bognor, marching by 
Petworth (4th), Chichester (5th), going into Barracks 
on the 6th. 

1812, 1813. 

It remained at Littlehampton until April 1812, when 
it received orders to proceed to Norman Cross in Hunting- 
donshire, to form part of a guard over French prisoners. 

It commenced its march, on the 28th April. The 
Eecords state that on this march the Men were conveyed 
in waggons, and Officers in post-chaises, &c. The waggons 
were changed at each town. 

This long march was made in six days. 

First day (April 29th, 1812) to Petworth, Godalming, 
and Guildford ; second day (April 30), to Kingston, High- 
gate, and Bamet; third day (May 1st), St. Albans, 
Dunstable, and Newport Pagnell ; fourth day (May 2nd), 
to Northampton ; fifth day (May 3rd), to Wellingborough, 
Thrapstone, and Oundle ; sixth day (May 4th), to Norman 
Cross : a distance of 166 miles. 

The reason for this quick transport of troops across the 
Country was that very large numbers of French prisoners 
had arrived from Spain, and a strong force was necessary 
to guard them. 

It remained at Norman's Cross until October 28th, 

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1812, when it marched by Peterborough (29th), Wis- 
beaoh (30th), Downham Market (31st), Swaffham (Nov. 
2), East Dereham (Nov. 3), Norwich (Nov. 4th), to 
North Yarmouth, where it was stationed until June 

1813. Troubles again began in Ireland, and the Begiment 
received orders once more to proceed with the utmost 
speed to Bristol, for embarkation to that Country. Its 
march was Beccles (Juae 14th), Hotsworth (15th), Sax- 
mundham (16th;, Woodbridge (17th), Ipswich (18th), 
Colchester (19th), Wytham (21st), Chelmsford (22nd), 
Brentwood (23rd), Bow and Stratford (24th), Brentford 
{25th), Maidenhead (26th)^ Reading (28th), Newbury 
(29th), Hungerford (30th), Marlborough (1st July), Chip- 
penham (2nd), Marshfield (Srd), Bristol (5th), a distance 
of 251 miles. 

It embarked at Bristol on the 14th July 1813, and 
landed at the Pigeon-house Fort, Dublin, on the 19th, 
and marched to Kilcock and Maynooth the same day. 
On the 20th it halted at Kinnegad, and marched to Tul- 
lamore on the 21st July, and halted there until the 27th, 
when it proceeded to Athlone where it was quartered until 
the 29th August. 


On the 29th August it marched to Boscommon, where 
it was stationed until July 1814, having marched since 
leaving Yarmouth no less than 344 miles. 

On the 26th July 1814 it returned to Athlone, remaining 
there till September, when it received orders to hold itself 

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in readiness to return to England^ the cause of this being 
the Peace of 1814, and the return home of the Peninsula 
Army under the Duke of Wellington. 

It commenced its march on the 26th September and 
marched by Kilbeggan (27th), Kinnegad (28th), Kilcock 
29th, embarking at Dublin for England on the 30th Sep- 
tember, disembarking on the 10th October. 

At Liverpool it received orders to proceed to Col- 
chester, and marched by Warrington (Oct. 13th), North- 
wick (14th), Sandbach (15th), Newcastle - under - Lyne 
(17th), Uttoxeter (18th), Burton-on-Trent (19th), Ather- 
stone (20th), Lutterworth (2l8t), halting there six days, 
Market-Harborough (27th), Kettering (28th), Higham 
Ferrers (29th), St. Neots (31st), Cambridge (Nov. 1st), 
Haverhill (Nov. 2nd), Halstead (Nov. 3rd), marching into 
Colchester Barracks on the 4th November, the distance 
from Liverpool to Colchester being 246 miles. 

On the 12th December the Regiment moved to Wood- 
bridge and Ipswich, and was stationed in these Towns until 
January in the following year. 


In January orders were issued for the disembodiment of 
all the Regiments of Militia, owing to peace having been 
proclaimed, and the Bedfordshire Militia left its last 
quarters on the 23rd January 1815, and majched on its 
homeward route by Ipswich (23rd), Sudbury (24th), 
Haverhill (25th), Saflfron-Walden (26th), Royston (27th), 


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Biggleswade (28th), Bedford (30th); and it was disembodied 
on the 1st February 1815, having been on actual service 
for twelve years all but fifty- one days. 

This may be taken as the end of what is termed in 
Regimental language the ** old Bedfordshire Militia," for 
after this time the Regiment only existed on paper for many 
vears. The arms were sent into stores at Weedon, and 
only the Adjutant and a few old Sergeants were retained 
on the strength of the Regiment, and this Staff had a 
storehouse rented by the County, near Oastle Close, 

It has been stated in many accounts of the Battle of 
Waterloo (18th June 1815), that the Regiments composing 
the British Army in that great Victory were mostly com- 
posed of Militiamen, and I have seen it recorded that men 
of the 2nd Battalion of the 14th (Bedfordshire) Regiment, 
after the battle, were found lying dead in the uniform of 
the Bedfordshire and Berkshire Militia. This is recorded 
by Officers who served in the 14th Regiment, and there 
is no reason to doubt it ; but I can find no orders for the 
Militia to volunteer, nor can I find any accounts that they 
did so. In case I may be misunderstood, I may mention 
that the 14th Regiment was the ** Bedfordshire Regiment '^ 
until 1818, when the County titles were changed, and the 
16th Regiment, until then the Buckinghamshire, became 
the Bedfordshire. 

I have entered, possibly some of my Brother Officers may 
think, too much into details of dates, &c., but I have done 

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80 on purpose to show how carefully and accurately the 
records of the old Begiment have heen kept. 

We are all proud of our records ; and although we have 
no battles or campaigns to record^ like every Begiment 
of the Line, we think our Begiment has seen Militia service 
which few other Militia Begiments can equal. Our Begi* 
ment had traversed England repeatedly, had twice been sent 
to Ireland, and was destined at a future date to again go 
there ; and in all these quarters, and in nearly every Town 
in England, the Begiment invariably left with the good- will 
of the inhabitants. 

1815 to 1850. 

During this period the Militia may be said to have 
ceased to exist, except a list of OflBcers in the *'Army 

In 1848 the Colonel, Sir John Osborn, Bart., died, and 
Lieutenant-Colonel E. T. Gilpin, who had joined the 
Begiment as a Captain in 1820, was promoted to succeed 
him. Colonel Gilpin was a Captain on the half-pay of the 
14th Light Dragoons, Major W. B. Higgins being pro- 
moted to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy. 


In this year public attention was called to the defencelesa 
condition of the Country; forty years' peace had made 
people overlook the fact that England possessed hardly 
any army and no reserves of any kind* 

5 ♦ 

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1851, 1852. 

In the following year a letter written by General Sir 
John Fox Burgoyne, K.C.B., of the Royal Engineers, 
which was never intended for publication, found its way 
into the Press, and the plain truth contained in it, viz. 
^* that it was useless to erect fortifications if we had no 
soldiers to man them," caused universal attention; and in 
1852 a scheme was brought before the House of Commons 
for the re-organization of the Militia. The system of 
balloting for men was suspended, but the Act in question 
was not, nor has it been since, repealed ; and orders were 
issued, which were received by the Bedfordshire Militia 
on the 19th July 1852, to commence enrolling men under 
the new system, viz. of giving each recruit ten shillings on 
enrolment, and a bounty at the end of each year's annual 

It was ordered, at the same time, that every Militia Re- 
giment should be liable to fifty-six days' drill each year, 
and that the recruits should have one month's preliminary 
drill in the first year in addition to the annual training ; 
but this was soon changed to fifty-six days' preliminary 
drill, and the annual training was fixed at twenty-one 

In this year the Bedfordshire Militia was made " Light 
Infantry," and the new clothing had the same old 
dark-green facings which the Regiment had always worn. 

The Bedfordshire (Light Infantry) assembled for the 

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first time for the annual training on the 16th Novemher 
1852, on St. Peter 8 Green, Bedford, and the training waa 
almost entirely squad drill ; and, as the weather was very 
bad, the companies drilled in the London and North* 
Western Railway sheds. 

The strength of the Regiment was : — 

1 Colonel, 

1 Lieutenant-Colonel, 

1 Major, 

6 Captains, 

6 Lieutenants, 

4 Ensigns, 

550 rank and file. 
It does not appear that this year there was any official 
inspection of the Regiment. 


The Regiment assembled for training on the 27th Sep- 
tember, and was dismissed on the 23rd October. 

It was inspected by Lieutenant-Colonel Webber Smith, 
95th Regiment, and by the Lord-Lieutenant Earl de Grey, 
on the cricket ground. An official report was made that 
the old Militia store-house was quite unfit for the use 
required of it. 

1854, 1855. 

The annual training commenced on the 5th May, dis* 
missed on the 1st June. Colonel Bush, Inspecting Officer^ 

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London Becruiting District^ officially inspected the Regi- 

At this inspection a somewhat curious incident occurred: 
Colonel Bush himself took command of the Begiment, and 
put it through several manoeuvres. Colonel Gilpin 
officially reported this, and asked for an opinion on the 
subject ; and orders were issued to prevent such an irregu- 
larity for the future. 

In February 1854 the Crimean War broke out, and 
27,000 English troops were despatched first to Con- 
stantinople, and afterwards to Varna ; and in September 
the French and English armies landed in the Crimea. 
On September 20th the Battle of the Alma was fought ; 
on the 80th September Sevastopol was invested ; on 
the 25th October the celebrated cavalry battle of Bala- 
klava was fought ; and on the 5th November the battle of 
^'Inkerman," perhaps the most hand-to-hand; stubborn 
fight of modem days. It was manifest then that the 
war would be of long duration, and in July 1854 orders 
were issued for the embodiment of several Militia Begi- 

The Bedfordshire Light Infantry received orders on the 
15th July, and assembled on the 1st August, Colonel 
Gilpin in command. 

The Begiment remained at Bedford to form, until the 
19th, when it proceeded by railway, in two divisions, to 
Berwick-on-Tweed, where it was quartered until the follow- 
ing January. 

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At the end of October orders were issued for men of 
the Militia to be allowed to volunteer for the Guards and 
Line, and at this time a bounty of £9 and a free kit was 
offered to men ; 130 men at once volunteered^ and during 
the year 1854 no less that 245 men volunteered from the 

This large loss of men necessitated a return to the 
County to recruit ; and on the 4th and 5th January 1855 
the Eegiment marched out of Berwick, and proceeded to 
Bedford, each wing halting for a night at York, where they 
were billeted. 

They arrived at Bedford on the 5th and 6th January, 
and were billeted in the Town until July. 

The Officers hired a private house in St. Mary's for 
their mess. 

On the 17th April 1855 new Colours were presented to 
the Regiment by the Duchess of Bedford, on Industry 
Close ; the Regimental Colour bearing the motto : " Bed- 
fordshire Light Infantry — Pro aris et focis." 

It may be here remarked that these were the third set of 
Colours that the Regiment had borne. The first were pre- 
sented by the Duchess of Bedford in 1760 ; the second when 
the Regiment was quartered in Bedford, between October 
1799 and May 1800, which were also presented by the 
Duchess of Bedford. The Regiment was originally raised 
by the House of Russell ; and as long as Colours are carried 
by the Regiment, new one& will always be presented by the 
Duchess of Bedford. 

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In the summer of this year some mischievous lawyer 
discovered a quibble in the attestations of the men of the 
Militia, and the engagements of a large number of the men 
were found to be illegal. The consequence was that seventy 
men of the Bedfordshire were discharged, these men having 
refused to be re-attested, although a special bounty of £1 
was offered to them. 

To show what curious men soldiers are to deal with, 
nearly the whole of these men, who then refused £1 
bounty, a few months afterwards rejoined the Regiment at 
a much lower bounty. 

An interesting ceremony took place at Bedford on jthe 
18th September, the old Colours of the Eegiment were 
presented by Colonel Gilpin, on parade, to Captain Leech, 
the old Adjutant of the Regiment. Captain Leech had 
served for a long time as Adjutant, and it is stated that 
when Captain Leech died in 1857 he left a request that 
the old Colours might be buried with him ; but whether 
this was done or not, I am unable to say. 

On the 20th July 1855, the Regiment proceeded by 
railway to Aldershot, and was stationed in the South 
Camp. The camp at this time was under the command of 
Major-General KnoUys, and nearly all the Regiments were 

On the 10th December the Regiment left Aldershot for 
Ireland, one wing (right) halting for the night at Lichfield, 
the left wing at Stafford; on the 11th both wings em- 
barked at Liverpool in the evening, and on the morning of 

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the 12th disembarked at Eingstown, and proceeded by 
railway, three companies to Galway, one company to 
Oughterard, two companies to Loughrea. 

Colonel Gilpin, M.P., was detained in England by Par- 
liamentary duties, and did not go to Ireland at all, and 
Lieut.- Colonel W. B. Higgins commanded the Hegiment 
during the time it was in Ireland. 

During its stay in Ireland the men seem to have been 
very popular with the people, and with one single 
exception, no sort of quarrel arose. The exception 
was at Loughrea, when a man of one of the companies 
died, and, being a Protestant, was being buried according ta 
the rites of the Established Church. This, however, seems 
to have excited the animosity of two Roman Catholic 
Priests — men, it is to be regretted, in Ireland, of the lowest 
possible origin, and of an extraordinary ignorance. These 
men excited the people to insult the funeral, and to throw 
stones, &c. at the troops. The OflBcers had the greatest 
difl&culty in restraining their men, and in preventing a 
retaliation, in which, at all events, Irish blood would have 
been spilt. 

During the time the Regiment was at Galway, another 
call for volunteers was made, and thirty men went to the 
Line and Guards. 


On the 12th April 1856 the Regiment was ordered ta 
Dublin, and occupied the Linen Hall Barracks. It took 

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part in the Review^ and also in the public illuminations and 
rejoicings which everywhere were held at the termination 
of the Crimean War. 

It remained doing garrison duty in Dublin until the 
8rd June, when it received orders to return to Bedford ; 
it embarked at the North Wall, Dublin, and disem- 
barked at Liverpool, and proceeded by railway to Bedford, 
where it was billeted until the 2nd July 1856, when it was 
disembodied, having been on actual service one year and 
eleven months. 

The day before the fiegiment was disembodied, Colonel 
Gilpin addressed the men as follows : — 

" Bedfordshire Light Infantry — 

** Having received the Queen's command that the Regi- 
ment should be disembodied, I avail myself of this 
opportunity to say a few parting words to you. 

"It is now within a few days of two years since the 
warrant was signed for our embodiment. In that brief 
interval we have served on the borders of Scotland, at the 
great military camp at Aldershot, in the west of Ireland, 
and for a short time in the garrison of Dublin ; in all of 
these places we have merited the approval of our military 

" Since our return home we have received a compli- 
mentary address from the Mayor and Magistrates of the 
Borough, and shall carry with us in our retirement the 
kind feelings of the inhabitants of our native Town. 

"As an Englishman, I must rejoice that the calamities 

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of war have been averted, and must hope that the blessings 
of peace may long be continued to our Country. 

^' As a man, I cannot but feel a pang at parting with 
those with whom I have been so closely connected, whom 
I have been so proud to command, and whose conduct has 
reflected such credit on all. 

" And well may I be proud of my command ; for whilst 
the small number of courts-martial sufficiently attests the 
discipline of the Corps, I find that more than two-thirds of 
the men have never had their names in the Defaulter 
Book at all. 

** The crimes generally have been of a trivial character, 
usually for temporary abseuQC ; out of 1,211 men who have 
passed through our ranks, only eighty-four names have 
been entered for drunkenness, one case only of theft, none 
of violence ; whilst the numbers attending our school have 
averaged 230. I have a right to say, then, that conduct 
such as this reflects credit on all. 

** And now, men, you are about to return to your homes, 
remember with pride that you have received the thanks of 
your Queen, the Commander-in-Chief, and of both Houses 
of Parliament, for your services. Let me entreat you, on 
resuming your duties as citizens, not to forfeit the character 
you have obtained as soldiers. Indeed, a good soldier can 
hardly make a bad citizen. Be obedient to the law, respect- 
ful to your superiors, peaceful and contented in your several 
situations ; and when the Queen again calls for your ser- 
vices, rally round your Colours with the cheerfulness and 

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alaority you have always evinced, and which is so truly the 
characteristic of the British soldier. 

" I hid you farewell. May you enjoy health and 
happiness, and may God bless you all." 

The Eegiment then gave three cheers. 


It was not destined that the Regiment should long remain 
disembodied, for in the summer of this year all £ngland 
was convulsed with the terrible news of the mutiny which 
had broken out amongst the Sepoy troops in India, and 
almost all the available regular soldiers in the kingdom 
were embarked for that Country. 

As usual, the services of the Militia were required, 
and the Bedfordshire assembled at Bedford for embodi- 
ment on the 2nd November. They remained at Bedford 
until the 8th December, when they proceeded to Alder- 
shot, where they were stationed in huts in the South 

It is to their credit, that the newspapers published at the 
time state that when they left Bedford not a man was 
absent, and not one drunk. 

It should be here stated that during the time they were 
disembodied a new Militia Depot had been erected by the 
County, and in which not only the arms and clothing were 
stored, but also quarters for most of the non-commissioned 
Officers of the permanent staflF. 

In the spring of 1857 Captain Johnes Smith, the Adju- 

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tant, was appointed Chief Constable of Cheshire, and 
Ensign and Adjutant George Toseland, of the 88rd Regi- 
ment, was appointed to succeed him, with the rank of 

Captain Toseland, a native of the adjoining County of 
Huntingdon, had served for many years in the Grenadier 
Guards, and was promoted from Drill- Sergeant to be Ser- 
geant-Major of the 8rd Battalion of that Regiment in the 
Crimea, in the place of the Sergeant-Major who had been 
killed at the battle of Inkerman. 

Sergeant-Major Toseland's exceptional qualities soon 
became manifest in organizing the large drafts that joined 
the 8rd Battalion of the Grenadiers after Inkerman, and 
attracted the attention of the Staff OjBQicers of the Army ; 
and shortly afterwards the state of the 88rd Regiment, 
which had been cut up at the Alma, Inkerman, and in the 
trenches, became so bad that they had hardly any Officers 
or non-commissioned Officers for duty, and large drafts 
joining ; and it was under these circumstances that Ser- 
geant-Major Toseland was offered, and accepted, a 
commission as Ensign and Adjutant. 

He had hardly joined his new Regiment when it formed 
part of the Light Division which attacked the Redan, and 
Ensign Toseland distinguished himself by his coolness and 
by the extraordinary control he exercised over these young 
troops. His Colonel was severely wounded, and Mr. 
Toseland, although within a few yards of the Russian 
infantry, coolly took up the Colonel in his arms and 

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oarried him to a place of safety, and while doing this, a 
huUet took the greater part of his ear off. 

It was not to the credit of the authorities that Mr. Tose- 
land was not awarded the Victoria Cross, which ho richly 
deserved ; hut at the end of the war he received, in addi- 
tion to the Turkish and Crimean medals, the Order of 
Knight of the French Legion of Honour. 

The writer of these records was at that time Regimental 
Adjutant of the Grenadier Guards, and it was entirely 
through him that the Bedfordshire Militia heard of and 
obtained the services of Captain Toseland, and it is with 
the greatest satisfaction that he records it, as he is certain 
that no Officer who ever served in the Regiment left more 
lasting marks of his zeal, abilities, and soldier-like qualities 
than Captain Toseland. 

In August 1857 Her Majesty reviewed the troops of the 
Aldershot Division, and it may be remarked that this was 
the first time Her Majesty had seen her soldiers in the new 

The Regiment remained at Aldershot during the winter, 
and, by way of training the men, alarms were occa- 
sionally given and the troops turned out, and the North 
Camp used to cross the canal, and attack the South 

On one of these occasions a guard of a certain Militia 
Regiment occupied the pontoon bridge, and the Subaltern 
in charge was ordered "to take the usual precautions"; 
when the enemy appeared, he turned out his guard and 

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" presented arms," and was taken prisoner, and, I need not 
add, for a long time did not hear the last of it. 


On the 16th June 1858 the Regiment was ordered to 
Dover, and occupied the Castle, new barracks which had 
only been lately built. 

In August of this year, H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge 
inspected the Dover garrison, and afterwards had luncheon 
with the OflBcers of the Regiment at the Castle. 


While at this station the excellent arrangements for the 
schools of the regiment, which were entirely managed by 
Major Stuart, were especially noticed and reported upon 
in the most flattering terms by Major-General Craufard, 
Commanding the Division. 

In June 1859 the Regiment returned to Aldershot, and 
occupied F Block, P.B., South Camp ; and while at this 
camp volunteered a large number of men to the Guards 
and Line. 

In August it received sudden orders to leave Aider- 
shot, and left, head-quarters and two companies on 
the 9th August to Weymouth, two companies to Dor- 
chester, one company to Portland, and one company to 
furnish the guard over the powder magazine at March- 
wood, near Southampton. 

In November, a sentry of the company stationed at 
Portland, guarding the convicts, saw a woman approach- 

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ing him, and, seeing something suspicious, stopped her, 
when he at once saw it was a man in woman's clothes. 
He charged his bayonet, and threatened to run the 
€onvict through if he moved. The man at once surren- 
dered, and the sentry was rewarded as well as complimented 
for his vigilance and determination. 

In recording this circumstance the Weymouth news- 
papers state : " We have ascertained that a better-behaved 
Hegiment has never been either there, or in Weymouth ; 
Mr. Lawrence, the Governor of the County Gaol, volun- 
teering the assurance that, during the comparatively long 
period the Bedfordshire have been amongst us, not one of 
them has ever been in the gaol for any offence, civil or 

During their stay at Weymouth the OflBcers gave several 
theatrical entertainments. 


On the 2nd March the Regiment left its quarters at 
Weymouth, &c., and proceeded to Portsmouth, changing 
quarters with the East Kent Militia, and occupied the 
Oolewort Barracks. Major-General Lord William Paulet, 
C.B., commanded the South- West District. 

On the 24th May it was inspected by the General, 
who expressed himself much pleased at the general appear- 
ance of the men. 

On the 1st October 1860 the Regiment was again 
inspected on Southsea Common by Major-General Lord 

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William Paulet, and at the close his liOrdship formed 
square and said : 

'* Colonel Gilpin, — I can but say how pleased I am with 
your Regiment, more especially as the inspection was quite 
unexpected, you having only had notice of it last evening. 
The steadiness and soldierly hearing of the men, and the 
manner in which they have gone through their work to- 
day, are beyond all praise. The interior economy of the 
Regiment is equally good : your hooks are well kept, your 
barracks are in first-rate order and thoroughly clean. The 
conduct of the men of the Bedfordshire, while they have 
been in this garrison, reflects all possible credit on you,, 
your OflBcers, your men themselves, and the County to- 
which you belong.*' 


The Indian Mutiny was now quelled, and most of the 
other Militia Battalions had been for some time disem- 
bodied, and the Bedfordshire was one of the last kept 
embodied ; and on the 7th February 1861 ,the Regiment left 
Portsmouth under War OflSce orders, as follows, to pro- 
ceed home to be disembodied : — 

"Her Majesty having been pleased to sign orders for 
the disembodiment of the Light Infantry Regiment of 
Militia of the County of Bedford with all convenient 
speed, I am commanded to express to you the very great 
satisfaction which Her Majesty has received from the 
exemplary services of the said Corps under your command. 


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" I cannot oonolude this letter without expressing through 
you the satisfaction I feel in having the honour of signing, 
on the present occasion, Her Majesty's gracious approba- 
tion of the services of the OflScers and Men belonging to 
the Begiment under your command. 

Signed "Sidney Herbert." 

General Orders to the same eflfect were issued by Lord 
William Paulet, O.B., commanding at Portsmouth"; and a 
Resolution of the Town Council of Portsmouth was also 
passed, bearing testimony to the good conduct of the men 
of the fiegiment. 

The Regiment returned to Bedford on the 7th February ; 
and previous to its disembodiment a public dinner was 
given to the men at the Corn Exchange. 

During this embodiment no less than dG791 was paid 
by the men into the Savings Bank, and at the time of 
the disembodiment £883 remained to their credit. No 
greater proof could be evinced to show the steady stamp 
of men then serving. 

On the 14th February the Regiment was disembodied, 
having been on actual service for 8 years 105 days. 

As this ends the embodied service of the Regiment up 
to the present time, it may not be out of place if I re- 
capitulate its embodied service: — 

Years. Months. 

First embodiment, 1760 to 1761 . 1 7 
Second „ 1778 to 1783 . 5 

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Third embodiment, 1793 to 1801 
Fourth „ 1803 to 1815 

Fifth „ . 1854 to 1856 

Sixth „ 1857 to 1861 

Total . . 88 years. 

Disembodied Period at Bedford. 
Assembled for Training, 27th May^ for 21 days. In- 
spected by Major-General Lawrence. 

Assembled for 21 days, 24th April. Inspected by 
Iieut.-General Graufurd. 

Assembled for 21 days, 18th April. Inspected by 
Colonel Stephenson, Scots Fusilier Guards. 


Assembled for 27 days, May 1st. Inspected by Colonel 



Assembled for 27 days, 28rd April. Inspected by 

Colonel Ponsonby, Grenadier Guards. 

Assembled for 27 days, April 29th. Inspected by 
Colonel The Hon. Dudley Carleton, Coldstream Guards. 

6 ♦ 

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Assembled for 27 days, 27th April. Inspected by 
Major.-Gen. Hon. James Lindsay. 


Assembled for 27 days. May 3rd. Inspected by 
Colonel Stephenson, Scots Fusilier Guards. 

In this year a departure from the ordinary monotony of 
a training took place, as four Begiments of Militia, the 
Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire, and Hert- 
fordshire, were ordered to assemble in Wobum Park, by 
permission of the Duke of Bedford, to be Brigaded for 
the Inspection of Major-General The Hon. James Lind- 
say, the Inspector-General of Auxiliary Forces. These 
regiments mustered: Bedfordshire, 600 men; Oxford^ 
758 ; Hertfordshire, 454 ; Northampton, 880. 

The weather appears to have been exceedingly close 
and hot, and the men of all the Begiments suffered a good 
deal, and all military movements were rendered all but 
impossible owing to the crowd of spectators, which partly 
impeded the formation of the troops. 

The Bedfordshire Volunteers were ordered to parade to 
assist in keeping the ground, but the newspapers state 
that very few of them obeyed the order, " as many Volun- 
teers had a decided objection to becoming subservient to 
an inferior force, as regards the position of the men, and 
consequently there was only a small number present." 

It is lucky for these warriors that they were never called 

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upon to face the enemies of their country, for unless the 
enemy had been of their ''class/' the result would not 
have been very doubtful, and it is to be hoped their suc- 
cessors have discovered that obedience of orders is the first 
duty of a Soldier, including Volunteers. 

Assembled for 27 days, May 9th. Inspected by Colonel 
Bumaby, Grenadier Guards. 

Assembled for 27 days. May 1st. Inspected by Major- 
General H.S.H. Prince Edward of Saxe- Weimar, O.B. 


Assembled for 27 days, 20th May. Inspected by Major- 
General H.S.H. Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, C.B. 

In this year the establishment of the Regiment was 
augmented from 555 to 600 Privates. 


In the spring of this year the system of appointing 
Colonels of what were then called Brigade Depdts was 
established, and Colonel Donovan was the first Colonel of 
the 16th Brigade Depot. 

Assembled for 27 days, 28th April. Inspected by 
Colonel Donovan. 

In the autumn a still further augmentation of the Begi- 
ment took place, and two additional companies were added 
to the strength, making a total of 720 Privates, or 820 in all. 

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In April of this year Major and Hon. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Judd retired, and Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John M. 
Burgoyne, Bart., late of the Grenadier Guards, was 
appointed to the Regiment as Major. 

Assembled for 27 days, April 27th. Inspected by 

Colonel Donovan. 


Assembled for 27 days, April 19th. Inspected by 

Colonel Donovan. 

Strength at Inspection, 764. 

Assembled for 27 days, April 24th. Inspected by 
Colonel Donovan. 

Strength, 779. 


Assembled for 27 days, 23rd April. Inspected by 
Colonel Willis, C.B. 

Strength, 765. 

The chacos were taken away after the training, also the 
old pouch-belts. 

By W. 0. Circular, a still further alteration was made 
in the strength of the Regiment, and the number of Privates 
increased to 800, making a total of 904. 

/ In this year England was on the very verge of a war 
with Russia, and the Army Reserve men and the Militia 
Reserve men were called out for service. 

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On the 4th April 1878 orders were received for the 
mobilization of the Militia Reserve on the 19th Aprils 
which day the War OfiBce clerks, with their accustomed 
blundering, forgot was Good Friday, and the date was 
subsequently altered to the 20th April. 

The Regiment had on its strength 169 Militia Reserve 
men. All these were present on the 20th April, with the 
exception of two men, one of whom joined on the lOth 
May, stating that he had not heard of the Reserve being 
called out, his notice not having reached him, as he had 
left home and gone to work on a railway. The other man 
was reported to have emigrated, and was struck oflP as a 

These men were distributed as follows : — 

1st Battalion 16th Regiment . . 69 men 

„ 56th Regiment . . 1 man 

Army Hospital Corps ... 45 men 

Army Service Corps . . . . 50 „ 

165 men 

The following general order was issued : — 

" 1. The period fixed by Royal Proclamation for the 
mobilization of the Reserve forces having now expired, 
H.R.H. the Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief haa 
received the Queen's commands to convey to the OflBcers, 
Non-commissioned OfiBcers, and Soldiers of Her Majesty's 
Army the expression of her high opinion of the very satis- 

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factory manner in which the men composing the Army and 
Militia Beserves have responded to the call made upon 

" 2. The Queen is well aware of the fact that the men 
had, in many cases, to give up their engagements ; and 
feels sure that the Army and the nation at large will appre- 
ciate as fully as Her Majesty the patriotic and soldier-like 
spirit displayed on this occasion. 

" By command, 

" C. H. Ellis, A.G." 

New pattern coUar-hadges (a bugle) were issued in May 
of this year. 

In July the Militia Reserve men were dismissed, and 
sent to their Militia Regiment. The men of the Bedford- 
shire reached Bedford on the 27th and 28th July, and all 
were paid off and dismissed by the 80th July. 

During the time they were on Army service two men of 
the Army Service Corps and one of the Hospital Corps 
were discharged as unfit for service. 

The following general order was issued on the 29th 
July 1878 :— 

"1. H.R.H. the Feld-MarshalCommanding-in-Chiefhas 
received the Queen's commands to convey to the N.O 
Officers and Soldiers of the Army and Militia Reserves, 
who are now about to return to their homes, Her Majesty's 
entire approbation of the manner in which they have per- 
formed their duties whilst serving with the Colours. 

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" 2. The cheerfulness and alacrity with which they 
responded to the call made upon them, at a period of 
national emergency, has made a deep and most favourable 
impression upon Her Majesty. 

'' 3. The Queen trusts that the men who must, in 
many cases, have left avocations in civil life to fulfil their 
duty to their Country, will soon find re-employment of 
labour, and Her Majesty feels assured that many em- 
ployers of labour . will gladly avail themselves of the 
services of those who have displayed so loyal and patriotic 
a spirit." 

The new barracks at Kempston were first occupied this 

Assembled for 27 days, 6th May. Inspected by Colonel 
Hawley. Strength 859. 


On the 24th January 1879 Colonel Sir Eichard Gil- 
pin, Bart., retired from the command of the Kegiment, 
having held the command since 1848 ; and was at the same 
time appointed Honorary-Colonel of the Regiment. 

It may be here remarked that the rank of Colonel in 
the Militia was abolished in 1868, and after that date no 
further appointments to that rank were made ; and, at the 
«ame time, the rank of Honorary-Colonel of Militia 
Begiments was adopted. Lieut.-Colonel and Honorary- 
Colonel William Stuart assumed the command. 

There has probably been no OflScer of the Militia to 

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whom that force owes more than to Sir Kichard Gilpin ; 
he had been almost bom in the Begiment, joined it as an 
Ensign when he was a lad, and commanded it for an 
unusually long period. His whole thoughts were always 
occupied with it, and I am in a position to say that about 
the last words he uttered were concerning the welfare of 
the old Regiment. 

In his place in Parliament, as Member for Bedfordshire, 
the soldier, whether Begular or Militiaman, had no better 
friend ; and on his retirement from the Begiment he carried 
with him the aflPection and respect of everyone connected 
with it. 

This year, by way of economy, owing to the large 
national expenses of the Mobilization, Militia Begiments 
only assembled for 20 days. The Begiment assembled 
17th May, and was inspected by Colonel Hawley. Strength 


Assembled for 27 days, April 19th. Inspected by Colonel 
Hawley. Strength 814. 

Just before this year's training Major Josselyn (96th 
Begiment) was appointed Chief Constable of Bedfordshire ; 
he, however, served during the training, and then resigned 
his commission in the Militia, and retired from the Army 
upon half-pay, receiving the rank of Brevet Lieutenant- 

This was a very great loss to the Begiment ; Colonel 

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Josselyn had served for many years as Adjutant of the 
96th, and was probably one of the best Adjutants tha 
Bedfordshire Militia has ever had. 

Under the new Territorial system Militia Commanding 
Ofl&cers were to be allowed no voice in the selection of 
the Adjutant, and the appointment was given to any 
Captain of the afiSliated Line Eegiment who chose to apply 
for it. 

Captain Whittuck, of the 1st Battalion 16th Eegiment,. 
was appointed Adjutant of the Bedfordshire Militia. 


This may be said to end another chapter in the history 
of the Eegiment, and also the existence of the Bedfordshire^ 
(Light Infantry) Militia ; for the new Territorial system 
was adopted, under which the Militia Force of the United 
Kingdom was to disappear, in many cases under incon- 
gruous titles, and the old local feeling, which had made 
the Militia the popular and constitutional force of the 
Kingdom was suppressed. 

Nothing could have been more unpopular in Bedford- 
shire, with the County, and with the Officers and Men 
of the Eegiment, than taking away from them the old 
dark'green facings, which they and their predecessors 
in the Eegiment had worn for a hundred and twenty 
years, and making them the third Battalion of a Line 

The result of this was that the men misunderstood the- 

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•change, and the recruiting began immediately to fall off, 
and for the first time in its history the Regiment was over 
•one hundred men under its strength. 

On the 1st May the general orders for the new change 
of system were issued. 

^^ Army Organization. 

" Para. I. — The following changes in the organisation, 
titles, and uniforms of the Regiments of the Infantry of 
the Line and Militia having been approved, are promulgated 
for general information. When not otherwise stated, they 
will come into effect on the 1st July 1881. 

"Para. II. — Organization. — The Infantry of the Line 
and Militia will in future be organized in Territorial Regi- 
ments, each of Four Battalions, for England, Scotland, and 
Ireland ; the 1st and 2nd Battalions of these being Line 
Battalions, and the remainder Militia. 

"These Regiments will bear a Territorial designation 
<;orresponding to the localities with which they are con- 
nected, and the words ' Regimental District ' will in future 
be used, and take the place of ^Sub-District' hitherto 

" Para. VIII. — Honours and Distinctions. — ^AU distinc- 
tions, mottoes, badges, or devices, appearing hitherto in 
the ' Army List,' or on the Colours, as borne by either of 
the Line Battalions of a Territorial Regiment, will in future 
be borne by both Battalions. 

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^'Battalions which have not hitherto borne a special 
device, will adopt a National Badge : — 

English Begiments . . A Bose. 
Scotch „ . . A Thistle. 

Irish „ . .A Shamrock. 

Welsh „ . . A Dragon. 

"Para. IX. — Uniform. — With the exception noted in 
Para. XIII. the Uniform of all the Battalions of a Terri- 
torial Eegiment will be the same. The title of the Begiment 
will be shown on the shoulder-strap. 

" Para. X. — ^The facings, and the OflScers* lace of the 
Territorial Begiments, will be the same for all Begiments 
belonging to the same County (Boyal and Bifle Begiments 
excepted), and will be as follows, viz. : — 

Facings. Lace. 

English and Welsh . . White Bose. 

Scotch Yellow Thistle. 

Irish Green Shamrock. 

** Para. XIII. — Militia Begiments will wear an M on the 
shoulder-strap, above the title of the Territorial Begiment. 

"Para. XVI. — Changes of facings and alterations in 
badges will come into effect both for Line and Militia on 
the 1st July 1881." 

Owing to these orders the Bedfordshire (Light Infantry) 
Militia changed its old designation, and became 8id Bat- 
talion the Bedfordshire Begiment, the Hertfordshire Militia 
becoming the 4th Battalion. 

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The facings were changed from dark green to white. 

A new cap-hadge and collar-badge were approved of, 
toth bearing "the Hart crossing the ford," the County 
badge of Hertfordshire ; Bedfordshire never having had a 
County badge or motto. 

From the 1st July of this year the system of calling up 
recruits to drill for fifty-six days, previous to the annual 
training, was abolished, and the recruits were allowed to 
<5ome up for preliminary drill of sixty-three days upon 
enrolment. And I may venture to remark that a more 
ill-advised order, as far as the efficiency of the Militia was 
-concerned, was never issued. 

Assembled for twenty-seven days. May 9th. This year, 
for the first time, the recruits assembled and were dismissed 
prior to the assembly of the Battalion. Strength, 864. 

This year the Officers' Moss was at Kempston Barracks. 


In April of this year, Colonel Sir Richard Gilpin, 
Bart., died at HockliflPe Grange, near Leighton Buzzard, 
in the eighty-first year of his age. He was buried at 
Hocklifie Church, and the whole of the Officers who 
i^ere able, as well as the permanent staff, attended the 

I have alluded to Sir Richard Gilpin, and all I need say 
here is, that a very long time will pass away before his 
memory is forgotten by the Bedfordshire Militia. 

Shortly after Sir Richard Gilpin's death Colonel Stuart 

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resigned the command of the Battalion^ and was appointed 
Honorary Colonel. 

Colonel Stuart joined the Regiment as a Subaltern pre- 
vious to the re- organization in 1852^ and accompanied it^ 
during both the embodiments, to all its stations. There 
have been few oflScers in the Regiment who have had the 
honour and welfare of it more at heart than Colonel Stuart. 

Major Sir John Burgoyne, Bart., was promoted to be 
Lieutenant-Colonel, and to the command of the 3rd 
Battalion, and Captain and Hon. Major, G. B. Sharpe 
was promoted to be Major. 

This year another great change took place. The attention 
of the authorities having been drawn to the large increase 
of absence and drunkenness in the Battalion during the last 
two or three trainings while in billets at Bedford, and 
.also to the fact that no musketry instruction can be carried 
out at Bedford, owing to there being no rifle-range avail- 
able, asked the opinion of the Commanding Officer as to 
training away. 

A suggestion was at once sent in, to send the Battalion 
to Shomclifie, where the 1st Battalion of the Territorial 
Regiment was then stationed. This proposition was 
agreed to by the Horse Guards, and it was arranged 
that accommodation should be made for the Battalion in 
huts. However, just before the Battalion assembled on the 
15th May, these arrangements had to be altered, and 
the Battalion was ordered to train under canvas. 

Before the Battalion left Bedford, it was announced that 

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by the will of the late Colonel Sir Bichard Gilpin, Bart., 
a very valuable Gold Cup, which had been presented ta 
him by the Magistrates and Gentlemen of the Leighton 
Buzzard Division of the County of Bedford, on his attaining 
his eightieth birthday, had been bequeathed to the Officers*^ 
Mess of the 3rd Battalion of the Bedfordshire Begiment. 

It is to be hoped that this memorial of their beloved 
** old Colonel," as he was for so many years familiarly 
known in the Begiment, will long be preserved by the 

On the 15th May the Battalion left Bedford (for the 
first time since 1861) by the Midland Eailway, in two 
trains, for Shorncliffe, and by 3 o'clock the men were in 
their tents. 

There can be no doubt that Militiamen much dislike 
being under canvas, and should never be ordered there 
unless absolutely necessary. 

However, the men of the Battalion behaved as Bedford- 
shire Militiamen have always done, cheerfully made the 
best of matters, and by their good conduct, steadiness and 
smartness, earned the just praise of the whole Camp. 

The Battalion was received by the Band of the 1st 
Battalion at Sandgate Station, and the men of the 
1st Bedfordshire turned out and heartily cheered their 3rd 
Battalion upon the occasion of the two Battalions meeting 
for the first time. 

I am unable to find words to express the gratitude of 
the Officers of the 3rd Battalion for the kindness, assistance. 

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and hospitality which were shown to them hy Colonel. 
Home, Lieutenant-Colonel Westhy, and the Ofl&cers of the 
1st Battalion. 

The Kegiments at Shorncliffe were the 1st Battalion 
of the Bedfordshire, 1st Battalion Scottish Eifles (The 
Cameronians), 3rd and 4th Battalions of the BufPs (late 
East Kent Militia), and 3rd and 4th Boyal West Kent 
Kegiment, besides Eoyal Artillery, Royal Engineers, and 
the 15th (King s) Hussars. 

Major-General Newdigate, C.B., commanded the Southern 
District, and Colonel J. Davis the troops at Shorncliffe. 

The last time the Bedfordshire Militia had been at 
Shorncliffe was in July 1796. 

On the Queen's Birthday the Battalion took part in the 
usual Birthday Parade of the garrison, and fired a feu de 
joie, and was much complimented on the steadiness and 
good marching of the men. 

The Battalion was also inspected by Major-General 
Newdigate, C.B., who spoke in the highest praise of the 
appearance of the men on parade. 

The Battalion was inspected officially by Colonel Ban- 
croft — strength 787 ; and on the 9th of June it returned ta 
Bedford, and the men were dismissed on the following day* 


So satisfactory was the result of the training of the 
Battalion in the preceding year at Shorncliffe, that orden^ 
were issued for the Battalion to train there in 1888, and 


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arrangements were made to accommodate the Battalion in 
the B lines in huts. 

The Battalion assembled on the 21st of May at Eempston 
Barracks, and early on the following morning proceeded to 

The Regiments at the camp were the 3rd and 4th 
Battalions Eoyal West Kent, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire 
Regiment, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, and the 7th 
Dragoon Guards. 

On the 31st of May the Queen's Birthday was kept, the 
parade consisting of the 7th Dragoon Guards^ Royal 
Artillery 1st Battalion, and 3rd Battalion the Bedfordshire 

The old Colours having been in use the regulated time 
of thirty years, new ones were issued by the War Office, of 
the new pattern, precisely the same as those carried by 
the Line, with the exception of the " badges." 

On the 12th of June the Duchess of Bedford came down 
to Shorncliflfe, and presented the Battalion with the new 

The new Colours were handed to the Duchess by the two 
Majors, Lucas and Sharpe, who gave them to Lieutenants 
Pym and Greenway, both kneeling. 

It is a curious fact which, if it has ever happened before, 
has at all events not happened often, that an Officer has 
served in a Regiment longer than the Colours ; but it did 
happen upon this occasion, as Lieut.-Colonel and Major 
G. B. Sharpe was one of the Ensigns who received the old 

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Colours at Bedford in 1855, and as Major took part in the 
ceremony of receiving the new ones in 1888. 

The day for the ceremony was beautifully fine, and a 
large crowd assembled to witness it, Major-General Newdi- 
gate, C.B., Colonel Davis, and nearly the whole of the 
garrison turning out to see it. 

After the parade, the ofl&cers gave a breakfast in the 
mess-room, and a " dance " in the evening, which was 
largely attended. 

The old Colours were given to the Duke of Bedford ; 
but with the thoughtfulness that so truly characterises 
him, he wished them to be committed to another place. 

The Officers of the Regiment, past and present, had 
ordered a stained-glass window to be put into St. Paul's 
Church, Bedford, in memory of Colonel Sir Richard 
Gilpin, Bart.; and it was the Duke of Bedford's wish 
that the old Colours should be placed by the sides of the 
memorial window ; and a better place for them could not 
have been found. 

On the 14th of June H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, the 
Commander-in-Chief, came down to ShomcliflFe, and in- 
spected the troops in the camp. His Royal Highness 
addressed the 8rd Battalion^ and expressed his satisfaction 
at the appearance, steadiness under arms, and good 
marching of the men, and His Royal Highness added that 
the Battalion was quite fit to take its place by the side of 
any Battalion of the Line, and to go anywhere ; and that 
the general report of the Battalion he had received, reflected 

7 * 

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the greatest credit upon the OflScers, non-commissioned 
Officers and Men. 

On the 15th the Battalion returned to Bedford, and 
was dismissed on the following day. Strength 701. 

I have now completed the records of the Battalion up to 
the present date. These pages do not pretend to be of 
any literary skill, or of historical value. I have taken a 
good deal of pains to trace out the records and services of 
the old Regiment, and I trust that my Brother Officers will 
continue to maintain and keep the records of the Battalion 
in the same careful manner as those who have served 
before us in the Regiment have done. 

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List of Officers, Bedfordshire Militia, embodied 
4th March 1760 :— 

Colonel — The Marquis of Tavistock. 

Major — Sir Philip Monoux, Bart. 

Captain — ^John Marshe Dickinson. 
„ The Earl of Ossory. 
„ Eichard Orlebar. 
„ George Edwards. 
,, Ambrose Beddall. 

Captain-Lieut. — John Salusbury. 

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Lieutenant — Thomas Vaux. 
„ John Franklin. 

„ C. Venables Field. 

„ Thomas Lee. 

„ Joseph Franklin. 

„ John Harvey. 

„ George Boheme. 

Ensign — Viscount Torrington. 
„ Richard Filkes. 
„ Peter Heywood. 
„ Joseph Franklin. 
„ Frederick Hill. 
„ Charles Willaume. 

Adjutant — John Freeman. 

Quartermaster — Joseph Frjuaklin. 

Surgeon — Richard Filkes. 

Agent — Mr. Calvert, Channel Row, West- 

Note. — In this List of OfiBcers of the Militia and 
Yeomanry, &c., the dates of .Officers' commissions are not 
given. This is the first List of Officers published. 

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List of Officers 1818, at the time of the Disembodiment* 

Colonel — John Osborn. 

Lieut.-Colonel — Richard Gilpin. 

Major — James B. Homer. 

Captain — William Thompson. 
„ James B. Storrs. 
„ Samuel Wallis. 
„ Thomas Davies. 

Lieutenant — Richard Hawkins. 
„ Henry Leech. 

„ William Sweeting. 

„ James Bridge. 

„ William Arden. 

Ensigns — James B. Storrs. 
„ Blackett C. Harrison. 
„ — Brodrich. 

Adjutant — William Hardgrove* 
Surgeon — C. W, Hyne* 

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List of Officers at the Beorganisation. 

Colonel— K. T. Gilpin. 

Lieut.-Colonel — ^W. B. Higgins. 

Major — F. C. Hastings Eussell. 

Captain — ^John H. Astell. 
„ C. Hervey Smith. 
„ R. H. Wilkinson. 
„ Wm. Cooper Cooper. 

William Stuart. 
„ F. L. Pym. 

Lieutenant — ^W. C. E. Judd. 
„ W. K. Browne. 

„ Chas. Lindsell. 

„ Ed. Thornton. 

„ Thos. Barnard. 

„ C. L. Grimshawe. 

Ensign — Geo. C. Ledger. 
„ Norbome G. Smith. 
„ Henry Meux Smith. 

Adjutant — T. J. Smith (Captain) 

Surgeon — W. Thurnall. 

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List of Officers at the last Disembodiment. 

Colonel— R. T. Gilpin. 

Lieut.-Colonel — W. Stuart. 

Major— W. C. R. Judd. 

Captain — Edward Thornton. 
Geo. C. Ledger. 
H. Meux Smith. 
G. B. Sharpe. 

F. F. R. M. Morgan. 
R. S. Crawley. 

Lieutenant — R. Chambers. 

E. Spedding. 
J. K. Winkworth. 

G. R. Mascall. 
A. H. Lucas. 
T. J. Sunderland. 

F. Luck. 


-E. Toseland. - 
E. R. Ives. 
G. H. Evans. 
Marsden Sunderland 
W. P. Winkworth. 

Adjutant — Geo. Toseland. 
Surgeon — M. J. McCormack. 
Assistant-Surgeon — W. J. Rawlins. 
Quartermaster — ^A. Merrie. 

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Sdccbssion of Colonels of the Bedfordshire Militu> 
since it was raised in 1759. 

Date of CommiBsion. 
. March 1759 
. 20 Jan. 1771 
, 25 Jane 1795 
. 12 Jan. 1805 


The Marquis of Tavistock 
The Earl of Upper Ossory 
Francis Moore . 
Sir John Osbom, Bart. 
Sir Bichard Thomas Gilpin, 
Bart 11 Sept. 1848 

In 1856 future appointment of Colonels of Militia was 
abolished, and the Honorary Colonels substituted. 

Honorary Colonels. 
Sir Eichard T. Gilpin, Bart. 25 May 1879 

William Stuart . . . ] 



Succession of Lieutenant- 


John Marshe Dickinson . 

. 1760 

The Hon. James Stuart . 

. 1776 

John Osbom . • i 

. 1779 

Francis Moore 

. 1793 

Sir John Payne, Bart. 

. 1795 

Richard Gilpin 

. 1803 

WilUam Astell 

. 1841 

R. T. Gilpin . 

. 1847 

W. B. HiggiDs 

. 1848 

R. H. Wilkinson . 

. 1858 

William Stuart 

. 1860 

Sir John M. Burgoyne, B 


. 1882 

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Succession of Majors. 

Sir George Osbom, 



Sir Philip Monoux, Bart. 

. 1760 

Thomas Vaux . . . , 

, 1778 

William Becher 

. 1779 

Francis Moore 


Justinian Alston 

. dat 

e not kno\m 

John Payne . 


Bichard Gilpin 


Philip Monoux 


John Gibbard 

. 1805 

Thomas Rudd 


James B. Homer 

. 1813 

Eichard T. Gilpin 

. 1840 

W. B, Higgins 

. 1847 

Francis C. Hastings Bussell . 

. 1849 

Robert H. Wilkinson . ' . 

. 1854 

William C. Cooper . . . , 

, 1858 

William Stuart 


William C. R, Judd 

. 1860 

Sir John M. Burgoyne, Bart. . 

. 1874 

George Toseland 

. 1875 

A. H. Lucas .... 

. 1879 

G. B. Sharpe .... 

. 1882 

Thomas J. Sunderla 

nd . 

. 1883 

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Succession of Adjutants. 


Date of Appointment. 

John Freeman, . 
Thos. Frazer 
*— Smith . * . 
* — J. Moore 
Edwd. Trelawny. 
Wm. Hardgrove . 
J. Griffiths 
Wm. Brown 
H. T. Leech 
T. Johnes Smith 
Geo. Toseland . 
F. J. Josselyn' . 
W. S. Whittu<3k 
A. G. Duberly 


Sept. 1759 
25 Mar. 1779 

25 Apl. 1793 
9 Oct. 1810 
3 Oct.' 1815 

8 Nov. 1818 
18 Sept. 1826 

6 Feb. 1846 

9 Mar. 1857 
1 Dec: 1875 
1 June 1880 

7 Nov. 1882 

Late Oapt. 56th Foot 
„ Ens. & Adj. 33rd do. 
„ Capt. 96th Foot 
„ Capt. l/16th Regt. 
„ Major „ „ 

* No date of appointment of these officers can be found. 

Succession of Surgeons. 

Richard Filkes 
Thomas Stubbe 
George Borlase 
— Jackson 
George Wilkins 
Richard Turley 
C. W. Hyne 
F. J. Rix . 
W. Thurnall 
M. J. McCormack 


26 Mar. 1778 

24 Mar. 1779 

25 Feb. 1793 
2 June 1798 

— 1810 
80 Dec. 1812 
11 Sept. 1852 
21 Aug. 1854 

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Medical Officer. 

E. H. Coombs 1 Mar. 1873 Surg.-Maj. Militia Medical 


Succession of Quartermaster. 

Joseph Franklin 

. 1761 

Thomas Ogilvie 

. 1778 

Andrew Lessley 

. 1787 

James Morris . 

. 1803 

J. A. Dyer . 

. 1854 

Adam Merrie , 

. 1855 

Thomas Muir 

.. . 1878 

(Transferred to 4th B 


Archibald Hislop . 

. 1883 

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Bedfordshire Militia. 

Return of the Number of Men who Volunteered into 
various Regiments of the Line since the Formation of 
the Regiment to 1814. 

Periods of Volunteering. 

June to July 1795 . . 
1 Apr. to 1 May 1799. 

1 Apr. to 1 May 1805. 

1 Aug. to 1 Sept. 1807 . . 

1 Apr. to 1 May 1808 . . 

26 Mar. to 24 Apr. 1809 . . 

25 Apr. to 24 May 1811 . . 

26 Apr. to 24 May 1812 . . 
25 Mar. to 24 Apr. 1813 . , 
25 Nov. to 24 Deo. 1813 . . 
25 Dec. 1813 to 24 Jan. 1814 
25 Mar. to 24 Apr. 1814 , . 

station of 


Ireland . . 

Totness and 
Bushell . . 

Portsmouth . 

Winchester . 

Weedon Bar- 
racks . . 

Little Hamp- 
ton . . . 

Little Hamp- 
ton . . . 

Norfolk . . 

Ireland . . 

Ireland . . 

Ireland . . 

















To Ports- 
mouth Di- 


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Bedfordshire (TjIGht Infantry) Militia. 

Keturn of the Number of Men who Volunteered into the 
Regular Army from the time of the Ee-organization of 
the Regiment (1852) to the Disembodiment in 1856. 

No. of 


Stations of Eegiment. 


Men who 





Commenced en- 
rolling Men 
Sept. 2. 





Bedford and Ber- 

wick-on-Tweed . 


Embodied Aug. 1. 


Bedford, Aldershot, 
and Ireland . . 



Ireland and Bedford 


July 2, 1866.' 

Bedfordshire (Light Infantry) Militia. 

Eeturn of the Number of Men who Volunteered into the 
Regular Army from July 1856 to the Disembodiment, 
14th February 1861. 









Bedford and Aldershot 

Aldershot and Dover . 

Dover, Aldershot, and 
Weymouth . . . 

Weymouth and Ports- 

Portsmouth and Bed- 





Embodied 2nd Nov. 1867. 

64 Men volunteered to 
the Royal Marines 
21Jan.l861; Disem- 
bodied 14 Feb. 1861. 

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Bedfordshire (Light Infantry) Militia. 

Return of the Number of Men who have Volunteered 
in each year to Eegular Army. 





1862 . 

. Bedford 

. 13 

1863 . 


. 23 

1864 . 


. 12 

1865 . 


. 16 

1866 . 

• >> 

. 21 

1867 . 

• >j 

. 72 

1868 . 


. 15 

1869 . 


. 41 

1870 . 


. 51 

1871 . 


. 41 

1872 . 

► >> 

. 28 

1873 . 

» )> 

. 51 


• »> 

. 81 

1875 . 

>> • 

. 46 



>> • 

. 49 


1877 . 


. 58 

1878 . 

• >> 

. 81 

1879 . 

• >> • 

. 41 


1880 . 


. 69 

1881 . 


. 54 

1882 . 


. 35 

1883 . 

>> • 

. 52 


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Since these pages were in the printers hands Mr. 
Richard Orlebar, the representative of the oldest family 
in the County, has most kindly furnished me with some 
papers relating to a company of the Regiment commanded 
by Captain Orlebar in 1761. 

Through these documents we are enabled to find much 
useful information as to the details of the Regiment more 
than a century ago ; and not the least curious thing is 
that the names of the men at the time we refer to, are in 
a large measure identical with those now serving in the 

I have struck an average of the age, length of service, 
and height of the men. 

Woburn Abby, 20th January 1763. 
Pursuant to the directions of the Act of Parliament 
the Regiment to be re-formed and reduced to 6 Companies, 
the Battalion' ones consisting of 3 Officers, 3 Sergeants, 
3 Corporals, and 68 Private; the Grenadiers* Company 
3 Officers, 3 Sergeants, 3 Corporals, 2 Drummers, and 
67 Private. The Colonel is to take rank in the Regiment 
only as Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant. The Officers, 
Sergeants, and Drummers to be posted to the different 
Companies according to the Annexed List. The Colonel 
recommends to the Captains to attend as much as lies in 
their power, the Ballotting for the men of their Companies 
in order to object to taking such men as thro' age, want 
of size, &c., may be unfitt for Military Service ; he also 
strongly recommends their getting as much as possible. 
Inhabitants of Bedfordshire, as such as do not reside in the 
County will be very liable to be lost to the Regiment by 
being compelled to serve in other Corps. It lies much in 
the Officers' power to prevent the parishes in their Districts 
giving too much money for Substitutes, by assisting them 
in procuring proper persons for them. He hopes that 


Digitized by 




Officers during their stay in the Country will not think 
their Leisure hours misemployed by lending their assistance 
towards carrying into Effectual Execution a Law which has 
already been productive of such signal advantages to this 
Country, the continuance of which will secure those advan- 
tages and reflect such honour and credit to the Wisdom 
and publick Spirit of our measures. 1 Sergeant pr. Com- 
pany and all the Drums and fifes to remain at Head- 
quarters and to be answerable forthe Arms, Accoutrements, 
&c., being properly taken care of. The Captains will order 
the other Sergeants of their Companies to reside where 
they think proper, provided it be in the County, and to 
follow such other orders as they shall give them. Sergeants 
and Drummers are permitted to weare coUourd cloaths if 
they ohuse it, except on Sundays and HoUidays, but they 
are always to appeare with Hats Cocked, cockades, &c., 
and drest in a Soldier-like manner, and Never are they to 
weare their Hats Flapped or Skirts down. Such Drummers 
as will not in general work or learn some trade, shall be 
obliged to go to School to keep them from Idleness. The 
Adjutant (as residing on the spot) is answerable that those 
orders complyd with, it is also his Duty to take care that 
all orders are communicated to all the Officers. 

Corporal William Moll, of Captain Salusbury's company, 
is by the Colonel appointed Sergeant to Major Dickinson's 
company, and is to be obeyed accordingly. . 


Lieut.-Col. Commandant. 

Captain — Lieut. Francklin. 

Ensign — Charles Willaume. 





Captain Orlebar. 
Lieut. Franklin. 
Ensign John Willaume. 



Digitized by 






Captain — ^Major Dickinson. 
Lieut. Harvey. 
Ensign Miller. 

Captain Reddall. 
Lieut. Boheme. 
Ensign Freeman. 









Captain — Lord Ossory. 
Lieut. Field. 
Ensign Hill. 
Sergeants Jones, 














Supernumerary OflScers, Captain Vaux and Lieut. Filkes. 

Digitized by 



Letter from Lord Tavistock to Captain Orlebar. 

Sr, London, May 26di, 1761. 

I am favored with your letter by the return of my 
servant. Since I wrote to you I find the order is dis- 
cretionary both as to the time and Route. I therefore 
propose marching on Monday next, according to the in- 
closed Boute, which will not only be convenient to me, but 
the best and nearest way of the Distances proper. I hope 
to be with you on Friday to settle the whole, and join on 
Sunday night and march with you. As we have so much 
time, I hope it will be possible to get the Serjts. and 
Drums cloaths fitted, and if there is, beg you will deliver 
them out. The Serjts. and Men's Hatts may be given out 
with strict orders that they take the utmost care of them, 
keeping them always tied up tight, and on no account 
altering the cock, &c. They must also be told never to 
pull them off, but touch them with their left hand in the 
same manner as I ordered the Grenadiers do ; and I beg 
you wd. see that they are taught to do it gracefully and 
uniformly. In case news shd. come while I am absent 
of the whole Island of Belleisle being taken, I shd. think 
it will be proper to fire upon the occasion. 

I understand the Camps will begin forming between the 
15th and 20th of June. Richmond's I hear is to be at 
Sand Heath with us instead of Charles Manners's, but this 
I am not certain of. I do most entirely approve of what 
you have already done, and beg you wd. go on in settling 
everything for the March, and am, Sr. 

Your most obedt. 


F. T. 

Digitized by 




First Division, 



1st Battalion Company. 





June 1st 


Hitchin 16 

Hatfield 14 

Highgate 16 

Kingston 15 

Guilford 18 

Second Division. 


3 Battalion Companies. 

Tuesday, June 2nd 

Wednesday, „ 3rd 

Thursday, „ 4th 

Friday, „ 5th 

Saturday, „ 6th 

Sunday, „ 7th 

Monday, „ 8th 














Digitized by 



Letter from Marquis of Tavistock to Captain 


Jan. 20th, 1763. 
Dear Sr, 

As I flattered myself with the hopes of meeting 
you before I left England, I did not answer the very 
obliging letter you was so good as to write me soon after 
the disembodiment of the Regt. As I propose leaving 
London next Sunday, I now take this opportunity of 
doing it, and at the same time assuring you how sensible 
I am of your merit and services as an oflScer. As I 
imagine you are likely to be in the County during the 
time of raising the new men, I can't help asking your 
assistance in carrying it into execution while I am out of 
England. I am convinced, with a little pains, a very good 
body of men may be held in readiness to serve their 
country upon any emergency, and perhaps put in some 
tolerable order. I am sorry to be obliged to give your 
Company so large a district, but the encreasing the Com- 
panies and new-modelling the Kegt. has given so much 
trouble, nor could I possibly manage it better. 
I beg my Compts. to your father and sisters, and am, Sr, 

Your obedt. 

Humble Servt., 

F. Tavistock. 

Digitized by 




Documents relating to the Bedfordshire Militia in 
the possession of R. Orlebar, of Hinwick House. 

A List of Capt. Orlebar's Company's Quarters, 
Northampton, 1st July 1762. 

o © 


Men's Names. 


Days appointed for 




Sergeant Hinton B 

Charles B 

Corpl. Eobinson B 

Summerford B 

About 60 men's names. 


Upper End 

of ye 








N.B.— Those men markt with a B at the end of their names board with their 

Joseph Hinton, Serjeant. 
EioHD. Oklebab, Captain. 

Harrold Company. 

No. of Men. 

Parishes and Hamlets. 

MiUtia Men enrolled to serve 
for the sevl. Parishes. 



John Hart 
James Bogers 
Wm. Makeham 

In all 66 men. Date of document apparently 1763. 

Digitized by 




SizK Boll of Major Bichd. Orlkbas's Company, 
Bedford, 29th May 1767. 















Bear. | 





















In all 60 

Not joined. 

3 wanting to compt. 

Josh. Hinton, Secretary. 

Companies pro^posed to compose the Bedfordshire 
Regt. of Militia. 

Woburn Company 
Dunstable „ 
Ampthill „ 
Leighton „ 
Harrold „ 
Bedford „ 


400 men. 

Digitized by 




Parishes proposed ta compose the Harrold Company. 

Bletsoe - 
Carlton - 


Brought over 
Shelton - 

- 81 


Famdish - 
Harrold - 



Sonldrop - 


Keysoe - 
Knotting - 
Milton Ernest - 


Wimmington - 
Yielding - 


Melchboume - 





Badwell - 


Little Stougbton 
Boxton - 
Benhold - 




Eaton Socon - 

- 11 

Carried over - 

. 31 

Total - 

- 66 

Bavensden 1, Carlton 1, Harrold, Turvey, Odell^ Fel- 
mersbam, Shambrook, Melcbboome, Oakley, Keysoe, 
Bisley, Shelton, Tillbrook, Qoldinton, Boxton, Colmworth, 
Eaton Socon. 


Digitized by 




Companies in the Bedfordshire Battalion, 1767. 

Bedford Company. 

AmpthUl Company. 

Wobtun Company. 

Capt. Jno. Salnsbnry. 
Lieut. Peter Haywood. 
Lient. Jno. Freeman. 

IJas. Goodland. 
Thofl. Barratt. 
Jno. Williams. 
I John Browning. 
Corpls. \ Henry Peacock. 
( Thos. Freeman. 
f Geo. Hands. 
(Thos. Butler. 


Capt. Thos. Vanz. 
Lieut. Frederick Hill. 
EnBR. Ingram Ball. 

IWm. Jones. 
Bichd. Daniel. 
Jno. Millington. 
(Jas. Green. 
Jno. Keep. 
Bobt. Be3rnold. 
n_,_,_. J Geo. Lancaster. 

Capt. Thos. Lee. 
Lieut. Jno. Miller. 

( Jas. Mercer,S.M. 
Serjts. ■ Jno. Lathum. 

i Jno. Binfield. 

I PamplieliasPack. 
Corpls.- Jno. Barker. 

(Wm. Hull. 

(Michl. Holmes, 
Jas. Morley. 

Thos. FuBNiVAiiL, Serjt. 

Digitized by 


























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Digitized by 




Digitized by 


Janitabt 1884. 

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British Troops serving in India (including Royal Artillery, Royal Engi- 
neers, Cavalry, Infantry, and Medical Departzaent), List of Native 
Regiments, Commander-in-Chief and Staff, Garrison Instruction Staff, 
InSan Medical Department, Ordnance Departments, Punjab Frontier 
Force, Military Departments of the three Presidencies, Veterinary De- 
partments, Tables showing the Distribution of the Army in India, Lists 
of Retired Officers of the three Presidencies. 

HOME. — ^Departments of the Officer of the Secretary of State, Coopers 
Hill College, List of Selected Candidates for the Civil and Forest 
Services, Indian Troop Service. 

MISCELLANEOUS.— Orders of the Bath, Star of India, and St. Michael 
and St. George. Order of Precedence in India. Regulations for Admis- 
sion to Civil Service. Regulations for Admission of Chaplains. Civil 
Leave Code and Supplements. Civil Service Pension Code— relating to 
the Covenanted and TJncovenanted Services. Rules for the Indian 
Medical Service. Furlough and Retirement Regulations of the Indian 
Army. Family Pension Fund. Staff Corps Regulations. Salaries of 
Staff Officers. Regulations for Promotion. English Furlough Pay.. 





For the Tear 188a 

Containing a Correct List of the Twenty-First Imperiai^ 
Parliament, summoned to meet for their First 
Session — March 6th, 1874. 
House of Peers — House of Commons — Soyem^s and Bulers of States 
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Courts — ^Police — Ecclesiastical Department — Clergy List — Foundation 
Schools — Literary Institutions — City of London — ^Banks — Railway Com- 
panies — Hospitals and Institutions — Charities — Miscellaneous Institutions 
—Scotland, Ireland, India, and the Colonies ; and other useful information. 

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Svmmary and Review of Eastern News, 

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